Abundant replays and controversial officiating drew immediate condemnation from ABC’s broadcast team.
Twitter was quick to follow, honing in on this late James drive to the bucket that drew contact from Kevin Durant, but no foul call.
So, one more time… foul or no foul on this late LeBron James drive on Kevin Durant? pic.twitter.com/0licmNwUmM
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) December 25, 2017
James thought he was fouled, but didn’t make too much of a fuss after the game.
“I lost it on the left wing,” James said. “He got me a little bit, but I lost that one. But obviously the overturned one, he fouled me twice. But, whatever. What are you going to do about it?”
As with most things social media and Durant these days, much of the Twitterverse sided against KD, agreeing that he did, indeed foul LeBron on that critical late drive. And of course, Durant had a reasoned, mature post-game response rather than reduce himself to the level of Twitter trolls.
Nah, just kidding.
Kevin Durant on the Twitter debate that his final defensive stand was a foul: "Keep that shit on Twitter" pic.twitter.com/CpJ0lyCnm5
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 25, 2017
Then came Tuesday’s last-two-minute-report that confirmed, from the NBA’s point of view, that Durant not only fouled James on the play in focus, but got him another time and wasn’t called in the waning moments of the game.
Warriors forward Draymond Green complained to reporters Wednesday about the last-two-minute report with a predictable response.
Draymond Green called the NBA’s two minute report “pointless” pic.twitter.com/PTjskXgxjc
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) December 27, 2017
“Why would you just judge the last two minutes of the game?” Green asked rhetorically of reporters. “What about the call that was missed in the first quarter? What about the call that was missed in the third quarter? That call could have started a whole run for them and changed the entire game.”
Here’s guessing Green’s philosophy on last-two-minute reports is malleable depending on what kind of light it sheds on the Warriors.
Alas, we had not heard form LeBron since his mostly casual postgame comments. Until now that is.
James put officials and the league’s replay system on blast Wednesday. Granted, he did it in his typical reasoned, collected media-savvy manner (for contrast, go back and watch the Durant presser again).
But he laid out some deep-seated frustration over how the game is officiated, particularly how calls are made, or not made, when he’s involved.
LeBron James detailed his frustrations with NBA officiating at shootaround on Wednesday… pic.twitter.com/1WVTZa3cH5
— Dime on UPROXX (@DimeUPROXX) December 27, 2017
“When you see the ref right there on the baseline looking at the whole play and you go up to him and he says there’s no call multiple times in crunch time, that’s the frustrating part,” James told reporters Wednesday. “For me it’s even more frustrating because I know how I’m officiated at times.”
Translation: Are you guys freaking serious? I’m the biggest star in the the league, and you let fouls against me go all the time. Now you’re letting Kevin Durant maul me in crunch time. C’mon now.
It’s all just more heat for an already raging fire burning between the Cavs and Warriors.