James made a great play to knock down what looked to be a 3-point shot to tie the game against Minnesota. Instead, it was ruled that the Lakers star had his foot on the 3-point line – meaning the shot was worth just two points. The call was upheld after video review.
LeBron’s clutch bucket deemed a 2 😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/KmzqEXMIBG
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) December 31, 2023
However, the replay appeared to show that James’ foot was behind the line. ESPN’s Dave McMenamin posted a photo that showed James’ foot not touching the line on the play.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 31, 2023
The leaked audio shows James pleading with Brothers to look at the replay. The official appears to tell the Lakers star that the replay center upheld the call – not him.
LEAKED Audio Of LeBron James Getting Heated At Ref Tony Brothers👀:
LeBron: “Look, look!”
Brothers: “That’s what the replay center ruled, not me”
LeBron: “That’s bullsh*t, look at the f*cking replay” pic.twitter.com/ITY3NmK1q1
— LegendZ (@legendz_nba) December 31, 2023
After the game, Brothers explained that the play was called a 2-pointer on the floor and that there was not “clear and conclusive evidence” to overturn the call via replay.
It was a brutal break for the Lakers, as the team was still down one point and had to foul after James made the basket. Then, with the team trailing by two, James was unable to get a shot off before the buzzer, sealing a Lakers loss.
James took to social media after the loss, venting his frustration over the call on Instagram.
The four-time NBA champion finished the game against the Wolves with 26 points on 10-of-21 shooting to go along with three rebounds, six assists, three steals and one block.
Lakers fans have to wonder how differently the game may have ended had the officials ruled James’ shot to be a 3-pointer.
Had that happened, Los Angeles would’ve been tied entering the next Minnesota possession, with a chance to force overtime – at the very least – with a stop.
The Lakers will need to have a short memory, as they are back in action on Sunday, Dec. 31 against the New Orleans Pelicans.