LeBron James’ tendency to act on the court during situations of contact was heavily debated over the past week.
James was shoved by Bulls backup center Nazr Mohammed during Game 3 of the Miami Heat-Chicago series and seemed to sell how forcefully he was pushed. Nate Robinson and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said they felt James flopped on the play. After being scrutinized, James responded by telling everyone, “I don’t flop.”
Well James’ acting was in question again in Game 5.
James was bringing the ball up court in the fourth quarter of Game 5 with around seven minutes left and the Bulls up 81-80. Robinson went straight for James and hit him in the face. Both of them fell down. Analyst Steve Kerr thought it was pretty bad, saying “that was close to a flagrant on Nate Robinson.” Replays seemed to show James snap his head back to exaggerate how badly he was hit:
As Pro Basketball Talk’s Kurt Helin stated, there is a difference between flopping and embellishing. LeBron certainly has flopped in the past, but he embellished on this play and the Mohammed shove more than he flopped. I think it’s just habitual for him at this point.
Robinson, for what it’s worth, was charged with a personal foul on the play after officials reviewed it. He and James couldn’t seem to stay out of each other’s way during the series.
I definitely think LeBron has flopped and flops, but I would say that he just embellished more in these cases than he “flopped.”
Video via The Point Forward