Video: LeBron James Calls Out NBA Referees Mid-Game on ESPN

Brad Sullivan
2 Min Read

Criticism of NBA officials occurs all the time, but Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James managed to do it on national television during a brief stoppage of play on Wednesday night.

“That’s a bad call,” James said to ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy. “When the ref makes that call, he don’t never want to be wrong. They’re never going to overturn it. Ever. Ever.”

James offered the comment with 1:22 left in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ road clash against the New Orleans Pelicans. At the time, the officials were reviewing a foul call assessed to Lakers player Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on former teammate Brandon Ingram.

The ultimate ruling could have had a large impact on the game as the Lakers were clinging to a tight 108-107 lead.

Moments later, James was proven right and Ingram was awarded two free throws, which he converted to give the lead back to the Pelicans.

However, when the final horn sounded, the Lakers improved their record to 16-2 with a 114-110 victory.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel had challenged the call, but the comeback win appeared to erase any disappointment he might have felt.

“I don’t see the replays like they do, so I’ll have to trust them,” said Vogel. “But we’ll see.”

The win marked a triumphant return for James’ teammate, Anthony Davis, who had played his first seven NBA seasons with the Pelicans before being dealt to the Lakers during the offseason.

The veteran scored a game-high 41 points, grabbed nine rebounds and picked up three steals, despite being the target of constant booing by fans of the Pelicans. James contributed a double-double with 29 points and 11 assists, while also collecting five rebounds and two steals.

The Lakers return home to Staples Center for a Friday night matchup against the Washington Wizards.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.