It was a battle between the top two teams, a clash of titans you might say, a battle of physicality. And then it happened; an 18-wheeler ran into a 10-wheeler.
Listed at 6’8 250 lbs, but lets be real he’s much bigger than that, ran into 6’7 230 lbs and the smaller guy won, by a landslide. Who are these two players? Well, the bigger guy is Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the smaller guy is Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green.
Yes it was a foul, Green was trying to foul James and it had to be a hard foul because James is a beast of a man, but are you kidding me? I know Green is a big dude, but there was no way LBJ was hit hard enough that it looked like he had just gotten knocked out by a Mike Tyson right cross. Oy vey!
What does this come down to? LeBron James is the biggest flopper since Vlade Divac. But let’s be real, Divac had more of an excuse to flop because he had to defend Shaquille O’Neal. But LBJ is the biggest/strongest dude in the league, and the best player should not be known for flopping. It has become a part of his game and it’s disgraceful! You can’t flop like that and then afterwards say you’ll be fine and call yourself a football player. That’s weak.
Never in their right mind, even their worst mind, would you have seen Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, or even the smallest player ever Muggsy Bogues consider flopping. They would have gotten laughed at and lost their respect. Now I know the game has changed a lot over the decades from a hard fought physical game to a more scoring-friendly game, but still, the best players don’t flop. Period!
Does LBJ get hit more than anyone else in the league? Yes. Are some of the fouls committed against him harder than the average player? Of course. He’s huge. He gets the same treatment from the refs as Shaq got. He has to play through it.
But his flopping hasn’t just been on the offensive end; he’s been seen drawing charges from a small 190 lb point guard for touching him with his shoulder (insert head shaking and eye roll here). His theatrical flailings have gone so overboard that the term “LeBroning” became a viral phenomenon.
It’s sad that the league is where it is. Hard fouls are now reviewed and called flagrant, sometimes even a flagrant-2 resulting in an automatic ejection. I know the true NBA fans remember when Kevin McHale clotheslined Kurt Rambis, and that was just a common foul. Or what about any of the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons fouls of the late 80s, also common fouls. Think about it, those players would be broke or kicked out of the league from fines and suspensions they committed. No players from today’s game would be able to hack the style of play from the 80s and 90s.
It’s been a huge debate time and time again, and you hear ESPN/TNT broadcasters voice their disgust about these fouls being called flagrant. Come on man, of course I’m referring to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, all you need to do is find a middle ground between the wonder years and ticky-tack ways of today. You can do it!