In 15 years and 1,081 regular season games in the NBA, LeBron James was never ejected from the game; however, Tuesday night, his frustration got the best of him and James was tossed with 1:59 left in the third quarter. The Cleveland Cavaliers star forced a turnover and dribbled up the court only to miss his attempt at a layup. LeBron argued with referee Kane Fitzgerald that Miami forward James Johnson fouled him, but Fitzgerald gave LeBron a technical foul and kicked him off the court.
Kane Fitzgerald’s call
Dave McMenamin of ESPN quotes Fitzgerald saying,
“It was a culmination of a couple different acts. Immediately after the no-call, he turned and threw an air punch directly at me, and then he aggressively charged at me, and then he used vulgarity in my ear a few times.”
The Cavaliers home crowd was audibly unhappy with the call and even the commentators were a little uncertain.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) November 29, 2017
LeBron and the Cavs against the Heat
James went into Tuesday’s game averaging 28.6 points per game and 6.9 rebounds, among other MVP-worthy statistics. Prior to his ejection, James was on a roll and well on his way to improving these numbers. He scored 21 points in the first three quarters with 12 rebounds and six assists in 29 minutes on the court. The Cavs were up 93-70 when LeBron left in the third quarter.
Cavs teammate Kyle Korver said what many basketball fans and players would agree with: that the Cavs lost their best player. Ultimately, however, the Cavs were able to secure the win in the last quarter without James.
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) November 29, 2017
James calmly explained his side of the story and stated that in the end it’s the win that matters.
Cavs Coach Tyronn Lue supports the referee
Coach Lue did not express frustrations with Fitzgerald, but instead says that the referee did what he should have done. Lue says no matter what James’ argument was, he shouldn’t be arguing with the referee’s call, commenting,
“Should have got thrown out. Yep. … I really don’t know what he said. He got kicked out. Want me to go against the ref? No, he got thrown out. He’s out.”
LeBron and the Cavs against the Hawks
James will be back in action when the Cavaliers play the Atlanta Hawks Thursday. Clevelend will be shooting for their 10th victory in the current winning streak, the longest since 2015. The game tips off at 7:30 p.m.