Posted May 11, 2013

Bulls accuse Heat’s LeBron James of ‘flop’ and ‘acting’ after Game 3 shove

Ben Golliver, Chicago Bulls, LeBron James, Miami Heat, Nazr Mohammed, Tom Thibodeau

The Bulls didn’t bite their tongues in assessing an exchange that saw LeBron James crash to the court after taking a two-handed shove to the chest from Nazr Mohammed during Game 3 on Friday night.

“From my angle, I just saw a guy, basically, flop,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I’m going to leave it at that.”

“You see LeBron in a lot of commercials, a lot of good acting,” Bulls guard Nate Robinson added, according to Yahoo! Sports.

With a little more than nine minutes remaining in the second quarter of Miami’s 104-94 win, James was fouled hard by Mohammed as pushed the ball up in a pseudo-transition situation. The foul came from James’ right side and as he spun to avoid the contact he swung Mohammed to the ground, a move that earned the 2013 MVP a technical foul from Joey Crawford. In response, Mohammed jumped up and immediately shoved James, who was not expecting the contact, in the chest with both of his hands. James appeared to let his body go as fell backwards all the way into the paint.

Mohammed was immediately ejected; the technical foul on James stood.

“We’re here to play a basketball game, and try to win a basketball game,” James said during a televised halftime interview. “All the extracurricular is not even really needed. But if it’s here, we accept the challenge.”

Nazr Mohammed (right) was ejected for this shove of LeBron James. (Chicago Tribune/Getty Images)

Nazr Mohammed (right) was ejected for this shove of LeBron James. (Chicago Tribune/Getty Images)

Thibodeau and Mohammed both said after the game that they didn’t believe the veteran Bulls center should have been tossed.

“I didn’t think it warranted an ejection,” Thibodeau said. “I understand a flagrant foul. I understand that. But an ejection, no, no, nope.”

The Chicago Tribune reported Mohammed’s reaction.

“It was a soft foul; it’s not like a fouled him hard. It was a stop-the-break foul. I thought it was a cheap shot throwing me down when all I was doing was trying to stop the break.”

“I’m disappointed in myself because I let my teammates down,” he said. “And I’m also disappointed because my son probably was watching the game and I don’t want him to see that type of behavior on the court. I’m also disappointed that it warranted an ejection for a push — when I got pushed down first.”

Mohammed, 35, averaged 2.6 points and 3.1 rebounds in 11 minutes per game in 63 appearances for the Bulls this season. He departed with zero points and one rebound in three minutes on Friday.

Later Friday night, he apologized on Twitter.

“Sorry for my overreaction and being ejected,” he wrote. “I blacked out and just reacted after I was pushed down. I’m happy it only resulted with a push. For the kids who were watching … That not the way to react on the basketball court.”

James finished with a game-high 25 points (on six-for-17 shooting), eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals in 44 minutes. He had 12 fourth-quarter points to seal the road win.

“I sat right there and let my teammates help me up,” James said. “I mean way too much to my teammates to try to retaliate. It doesn’t make no sense. I’m here to play basketball. I’m not here to do nothing else.”

This exchange was just one of many that have occurred during this volatile Eastern Conference semifinals series. Bulls center Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson were both ejected from Game 2, with Gibson receiving a fine for directing profane language at an official. Noah also received a technical foul earlier in Game 3 for shoving Chris “The Birdman” Andersen.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra tried to brush off the whole affair.

“I don’t think that had an impact on the game,” he said. “I think that will probably be more for great theater for the next two days. It really was inconsequential. … Everybody knows what the deal is. It’s going to be about the game. It’s going to be decided between the four lines, everything else is to draw interest.”

Chris Bosh added 20 points (on eight-for-16 shooting) and 19 rebounds in 42 minutes for the Heat. Chicago was led by 21 points and four rebounds from Carlos Boozer.

Miami now leads the series 2-1. Game 4 is set for Monday in Chicago.

61 comments
John227
John227

NBA desperately needs someone smart enough to read the rule book.

It also needs analysts who don't behave like little kids defending their mother. James shoved first, and Nazr shoved back.  Nazr not being the favorite son gets busted for shoving a man who just shoved him to the ground, while the announcers cried as if mommy had been abused


Worst problem? both benches emptied. . This video shows every heat bench player on the floor, but not clearly every bull bence player. Every one of those players has to be suspended according to the rule book, where is says "no exceptions"  The apologists were too worried that queen james had been pushed to notic a flagrant violation of a serious NBA rule.

NBA = WWE. Fake, fake, fake, no rules, whatever the ref says is what happens. No on in charge. Fake.

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

Watching the video - its obviously not a flop.  He was shoved full-force by a large man, and fell backward an appropriate distance relative to the force applied to him.  Bulls need to grow up - and move on.  End of story.

BurkartTom
BurkartTom

Normally thats part of the game to flop,to trick the refs if he didnt push him,he wouldnt have fell.

ady.harvey
ady.harvey

@BurkartTom Exactly, spot on - if you don't want to be ejected, don't react like an idiot.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

Let's review some objective facts:

- Nazr had only a minute earlier come onto the court for the first time in the game before the incident, as he's a rarely used player

- He claims he was stopping a fast-break with the deliberate initial foul on James, but this is plainly a lie because the Bulls had three players back on defense already and James was only jogging across the court with the ball.  What fast-break?

- James never pushed down Nazr.  Nazr hung on to James as part of his deliberate foul, and James simply spun and shook him off (which is plainly apparent in the replay).  So why did Nazr react so violently to his OWN flagrant foul on James?


Put all these objective points together, and it becomes entirely clear what happened here:

Thibs sent Nazr onto the court to deliberately try and start a fight with James, in attempt to get him ejected.  His instructions were to use the excuse of a Heat fast-break to hard-foul James, and then escalate the situation.  Unfortunately, Nazr did a very poor job of it, and of course James was too smart to retaliate.

And then Thibs, obviously frustrated that his transparent thug-strategy failed so hard, lashes out after the game in his bitterness.


I've lost a lot of respect for the Bulls in this series.  Thibs and company are using absolutely shameless tactics to try and make this a series.  This is such a shame, because after that heroic first-round series I really wanted to CHEER for the Bulls against the Heat, not ridicule them.

Sad.

Chanyongsen
Chanyongsen

@leehwgocLets review your fact, 

So rarely used player shall not play in any game 3 nba eastern conference semifinal? Which rulebook r u referring?

Whats your definition of fastbreak? Only one player on defense n one player on offense with clear-path-to-the-basket, What sport r u referring? Jogging? R u serious? Any professional bball players can easily accelarate from "jogging" to full sprint speed, let alone the most gifted bball player in the nba today. You saying nazr ought to give james the red carpet to dunk or make an assist to his teammates? 

James earned an obvious tech bcos joey saw an obvious unnecessary reaction to nazr foul. Why tried to throw him when james could simply stop? And james weighs about 250 pounds, as strong as nazr is, it took a massive amount of force to push an object that far. No, nazr is not a superman. Queen james, in his pure flopping nature, reacted perfectly in an unnecessary manner, use the force behind nazr's push to thow himself backward. 

Cheer for the bulls? R u sure? Cos youve done an absolute poor flop from writing your comment.

usameos6
usameos6

@leehwgoc I also think that the fact that Nazr has never really been known as a dirty player and that the 'takedown' to the floor was not overly physical meant that LeBron wasn't really expecting this reaction and was caught off guard.  I didn't see it as a flop - more as someone that got shoved by a 250 pound man when he wasn't really expecting it.  

Note - I'm a Trailblazers fan, so I've watched playoff basketball without a team to support past the first round for the last 13 years ...... and counting. 

JeffreySw
JeffreySw like.author.displayName 1 Like

Who had the longest no-foul streak in the NBA this year? Lebron went 27 straight quarters, over 250 minutes, in December. And they still voted him one of the top three defenders in the NBA. That is pretty embarrassing for the league and demonstrates how blatantly he is pampered by refs.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@JeffreySwSo you're one of those oblivious basketball know-nothings that confuse fouling with good defense.

Understand something, nitwit:  when a defender fouls in basketball, in normal circumstances it's because *he's been beat*.

James rarely gets beat on defense, though.

SO HE RARELY HAS TO FOUL.


You can always spot the ignorant fans that have never actually played the sport by the fact that they don't understand this sort of thing.

JeffreySw
JeffreySw

@leehwgoc @JeffreySw Wow, you are a True Believer. James rarely gets beat so rarely has to foul, those are the words of a true follower. His +- must be the best by far in the NBA and on the Heat....oh wait. 

Funny how the folks most likely to say a stinky freaky situation is normal are the first to say their opponent knows nothing about the game. It's simple: James does not get called for fouls because the refs don't call him for fouls, any fool can figure that out. 


JeffreySw
JeffreySw

Lebron fell 12 feet on that shove, it was pure acting. He holds his balance going to the basket, makes a shot and draws a foul, but here he just flies through the air. He flopped because he got called for a T, it was a retaliation flop.

Nazr dumb though.

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@JeffreySw lol he was blatantly shoved.... how is this even a conversation?  Its not like it was a basketball play and he flopped.  He was blatantly, maliciously shoved and when that happens, hes got the right to do what he wants.  Even thought he didn't flop (which is obvious), it would have been understandable if he did

The Dude
The Dude like.author.displayName 1 Like

@JeffreySw I can assume you did not see the play live or in replay. Unlike real flops, LeBron wasn't even paying attention to Nazi and so couldn't prepare for a flop. If there is any flopper it is you with that total flop of a post

truthbetoldforsure
truthbetoldforsure

The problem with the Bulls is they will always have the losing record against Miami in the playoffs even with Derrick Rose. Heat dismantled the Bulls with their full team in the past playoffs. Heat will beat the Bulls in 5

ceaser4488
ceaser4488

Bulls seem to be doing all the trash talking... Miami heat are quietly going about their business. They have bigger things goals in mind for the year than beating the Bulls. Right now the Heat are acting much more classy.

JonathanD
JonathanD like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Can anyone explain HOW they think Lebron flopped?  His legs don't bend or flex, so he didn't jump backwards.  His head doesn't snap back.  His arms don't flail out?  What the heck was the "flop"?  If it wasn't Nazr's shove that sent him backwards, what was it?

JeffreySw
JeffreySw

@JonathanD C'mon, Lebron gets mauled all the time near the basket, does not fall or lose his balance, and takes the shot. You are making him out to be a weakling, but nice try. He fell to get the call and that is a flop. 

Too bad because he is nowhere as bad as Wade, together with Paul the worst and whiniest in the NBA (not counting the scrub players).

JonathanD
JonathanD like.author.displayName 1 Like

@JeffreySw @JonathanD There's a huge difference between getting hit during a game, when you're ready, and getting hit when you're just standing around and not expecting it.

And when you're standing upright, you have a far more difficult time catching yourself then when you're moving.  That's why a running back going full speed can bounce off tackles, but a QB standing in place gets blasted.

RonaldChoi
RonaldChoi like.author.displayName 1 Like

@JeffreySw @JonathanD I don't believe that. You said so yourself he get mauled all the time "NEAR THE BASKET" during the game, where concentration is at highest. If you look at the video again, Lebron was looking the other way and as soon as he turned he got shoved hard by Nazr, who is not a small guy. I watch the video like ten times and still don't see where the flop is.

Jr.1
Jr.1

We all know Lebron is famous for flopping, but that wasn't a flop. Just wait until Lebron is irrelevant then we can put this whole thing behind us. 

JonathanD
JonathanD

@Jr.1 Lebron has 4 MVPs in 5 years and a Finals MVP.  He will never been irrelevant, even if he gets injured tomorrow and never plays again.

truthbetoldforsure
truthbetoldforsure

@Jr.1 Lebron is famous for dominating the basketball game since he arrived in Cleveland. The only person that will be irrelevant will be you when King James win all those championships.


Dar1
Dar1

LeBron is still the biggest JOKE in the NBA!!

The Dude
The Dude

@Dar1 Ha ha ha ha  ha ha what a wacky sense of humor. You're killing me!

newshamg
newshamg like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@Dar1 Stop using the common message board tactic of typing what you want to believe as opposed to facts.

Do you feel a tough guy or maybe a funny guy when you post such nonsense? I know you teenagers think it is being cool but son, it isn't.


Comoto
Comoto

He must have the force to throw him that far 

Moe2
Moe2 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

LOL!!! This just goes to show the Bulls need more time to gain the composure and patience. Lebron has been haggled for long enough time to shut the critics up again... Love'em or Hate'em but the Heat will repeat....... 

AnthonyNewton
AnthonyNewton like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Haters gonna hate.... wow, just cuz' Lebron is single-handedly the greatest player of his generation (and one of the smartest and cleanest) doesn't mean the Bulls need to go out and play rugby to get into his head. I am a die-hard Lakers fan and, even though I hate Lebron punking Kobe, he has always brought class and style to the game. Along with the greatest first step for a big man in the history of the game. Oh yeah, and eyees like Magic as well.  Get over it Chicago... 5 game sweep coming to a town near youl.

GregK1
GregK1

I don't have dog in this fight, so this is just my two cents on this particular topic. Flop, no, but that's not to say that he didn't play it up...bigtime. If you watch it closely you will see that as Lebron steps backwards from the push, he pushes backwards with his left foot which propels him across the floor to where he finally comes to rest. 

If he had only gotten pushed and done nothing but fall down he would have gone no more than two feet back. 

truthbetoldforsure
truthbetoldforsure

@GregK1 You gotta be kidding me. That is what you do as an instinctive move when pushed back full force by a 7 foot center. Another reason for that leg move is try to avoid serious injury. I will not be surprised if Nazr is suspended for game 4.

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

This isn't about LeBron... it wasn't a flop... we should be more focused on the blatant shove

 The bulls are acting like punks this series.  Play basketball, Bulls.  Ive been a fan of Tibbs and this team and the way they play, but they're making fools of themselves right now.  Stop the unwarranted aggression and play physical, smart basketball.  Acting like little children isn't going to help your chances in this series, you need to keep your composure as...I dont know, say... professional athletes

Play to win the game - stop with the sideshow bulls, play hard, but also smart

tviardo
tviardo like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

I thought these were the no excuse cardiac kid Bulls

Fifilo
Fifilo

Cue Chicago riots in 3.. 2...

JonathanD
JonathanD like.author.displayName 1 Like

Bulls fans - who took harder contact?  Lebron when he got shoved with both arms by Mohammed, or Mohammed when he fell after incidental contact from Lebron in the first place?

StacyHutchens
StacyHutchens like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

“Sorry for my overreaction and being ejected,” he wrote. “I blacked out and just reacted after I was pushed down. I’m happy it only resulted with a push. For the kids who were watching … That not the way to react on the basketball court.”

Loooooool!! Nicely forgot to mention the part he mugged Lebron..... remembers getting pushed down, forgets how he mugged the guy first.....wow!

Bulls. Quit your whining. You did not lose the game because Lebron 'flopped'!! You have done an admirable job to be competitive when you are short handed but you will lose some kudos when your coach goes on national tv and pretty much excuses the loss to one so called 'flop'.... really??

Knightsamurai
Knightsamurai like.author.displayName 1 Like

I am bored of this series already. I understand the Bulls are short handed but Thibs is the one who played his team into the hospital, then seemingly tells whoever's left to get physical on the Heat. It didn't work in game 2 so you try it again for game 3??? Deng is more broken than Mr Glass, Noah operating on angry fumes, Kirk K.I.A and Derrick Rose seemingly waiting for Elvis to return first! All those injuries must have come from somewhere. You have Rip Hamilton there so use him! As for Lebron... what was he supposed to do? He did slide back into the West Coast but every player not named Metta World War would have done so too. I want to watch basketball not whatever this is! 

Charles19
Charles19

LeBron is such a punk. That flop is laughable.

JonathanD
JonathanD like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

@Charles19 So Nazr didn't full-force shove him with both arms?  Okay.

Charles19
Charles19

Enough to send a man flying 10 feet? Nope. LeFlop.

JonathanD
JonathanD

@Charles19 So how do you imagine Lebron sent himself 10 feet backwards?  His legs don't flex, so he didn't jump backwards....so....what happened?  He flew backwards with the power of his mind?

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@Charles19 lmao Chicago is acting like little punk kids and you find a way to call out lebron?  so typical...


nfinitwordsfoto
nfinitwordsfoto like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

That's how you should take a hard shove or a punch.  Let the momentum move you and don't try to create force in the opposite direction.  That's not flopping, that's smart.  

jvillegasbo
jvillegasbo

Mohammed who? I didn't even know he played in this series. Irrelevant player who commits a hard foul and then gets upset that the person he fouls defends himself? This guy has n place in the NBA.

jvillegasbo
jvillegasbo

Mohammed who? I didn't even know he played in this series. Irrelevant player who commits a hard foul and then gets upset that the person he fouls defends himself? This guy has n place in the NBA.

Sami
Sami like.author.displayName 1 Like

Maybe in this physical series the refs will go wild in the next game and actually call one foul on Lebron. Don't make it so obvious NBA, we know your league is more like wrestling these days but at least try to hide it.