Posted May 13, 2013

Heat’s LeBron James responds to criticism from Bulls: ‘I don’t flop’

Ben Golliver, Chicago Bulls, LeBron James, Miami Heat
LeBron James denies that he simulates fouls. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

LeBron James denies that he simulates fouls. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

LeBron James defended his basketball honor after having it questioned by the Bulls following a Game 3 shove from Nazr Mohammed that sent him flying across the court.

“I don’t need to flop,” James said, according to the Associated Press. “I play an aggressive game. I don’t flop. I’ve never been one of those guys.”

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and guard Nate Robinson both got in digs at James following Miami’s 104-94 Game 3 victory in Chicago 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.

James responded to those comments on Sunday.

“I don’t want to get involved too much with what everybody else says about us, about me,” he said. “It’s nothing I haven’t heard before in my career. It’s nothing. … I’m here to play basketball and do whatever it takes for our team to win. So what a coach and players say to me and about me, I don’t really care. … It’s kind of the same [as when] I heard people say I was overrated. It’s kind of like the same response.”

The 2013 MVP has made an issue of Chicago resorting to what he believes are “non-basketball plays” this season and the Eastern Conference semifinals series between the two teams has been full of physical play and trash-talking. In Game 2, both Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson were ejected for disputing calls. In Game 3, Mohammed was ejected for shoving James to the court.

Thibodeau was fined $35,000 Sunday for making an issue of the officiating following Game 3. Gibson was fined $25,000 for verbally abusing an official during his Game 2 ejection.

“When you play this team you have to have a lot of mental, physical and emotional toughness,” he said. “Things aren’t going to go your way. That’s the way it is. You’re not going to get calls. That’s reality. We still have to find a way to get it done and we can.”

For what it’s worth, James has not received a warning or fine this season under the NBA’s new anti-flopping policy, which aims to curb the most egregious simulations and over-exaggerations. This season, he attempted 535 free throws, sixth-most in the NBA, trailing only James Harden, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and Russell Westbrook.

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

RELATED: Ranking the 10 most ridiculous dives of the 2012-13 season

18 comments
Deadshot
Deadshot

This guy is a joke. He doesn't like it when players play him at his own game and then believes they're not real basketball plays. He honestly believes he doesn't flop? I really don't know whether to take that seriously or not. He cries whenever a foul is called on him because apparently he's untouchable and wouldn't ever foul in a competitive sport. He honestly has no real game outside of playing with other top players. All he can do is use his size to bulldoze his way to the net and his dunks are the same thing over and over again. He constantly lowers his shoulder and elbows and travels. I find him the most boring player to watch and can't see why he deserves to be voted MVP when he has a stacked team that carry him and make him look valuable. The flopping needs a harsher punishment rather than a small fine, that's literally five minutes worth of game time wages to them. They need to call these players out and start sticking one game bans on them and if they repeat then it's two and then three etc. Some of LeBron's flops would even make a soccer player feel embarrassed, they're truly awful.

StephenC
StephenC

If fouling a good player is part of the game then a good player will simulate in order to deter other players from becoming too physical with them. As for LeBron getting favourable calls, the Bulls fans should be the last ones to say anything. Look at this clip!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxPmL9Or2Xk

Cool
Cool

Coach of opposing team playing head games with Lebron?  Now that is creative and somewhat desperate.  

bazzkitballizallpusswuss
bazzkitballizallpusswuss

Oh come on ... watch any NBA game and you see men big and small all fall down and feign injury, and they're NOT INJURED .... It's part of the game, and the league, the ref's, the players, and the fans all dance around this big white elephant. Watch any NHL hockey game and see players get the beejeziz knocked out of them, and GET RIGHT BACK UP AND JUMP BACK IN THE PLAY. When they don't, it usually means they just temporarily got their motor turned off. Acting injured put's points on the board - that's why they do it.

Bahia
Bahia

The play was already over when Lebron was shoved.  When a play is already over, it's not a flop.  And even from the video, it does not even look like Lebron faked his fall.  But if the Bulls think he is Superman, then I can see why Superman can be seen as flopping every time he falls.

WalterEgyHerrmann
WalterEgyHerrmann

#7 "bodychecked" by Chalmers!!!! and the ref calls the foul!! The ref calls it!!

baucumjoseph
baucumjoseph

@Harminov It's makes it worse when those in the media (pick any ESPN employee other than Jeff Van Gundy) refuse to acknowledge it just because it's LeBron.  Honestly, it would be poetic justice if the next time he tries this he pulls a hamstring.

Saqalicious
Saqalicious

@Bahia I think LeBron sliding about 15 feet after getting shoved is why people think it is a flop. But even if that play wasn't, the video posted by Harminov above has clear evidence of numerous flops by LeBron, so his statement that he doesn't flop is patently false.

Harminov
Harminov

@baucumjoseph @Harminov It's honestly unbelievable how bad some of them are.  Thank God for Van Gundy laying into these guys when they do it.  I hope they start reviewing these calls and calling a reverse foul.

hereandback
hereandback

@Saqalicious @Bahia All players at this level flop. Bottom line, this is a no-story. Bulls believe they can't win, so they need to create a diversion that takes the blame off them and puts it on the officiating or an opposing player. That is what second-tier teams have to do to win against top-tier teams. Again...no-story.

MichaelMonroy
MichaelMonroy

@hereandback @Saqalicious @Bahia  all players flop , yes , all players get fine , yes , as far for lebron read the article "For what it’s worth, James has not received a warning or fine this season under the NBA’s new anti-flopping policy"  not a single warning , do i smell RIGGED , of course 

Saqalicious
Saqalicious

@hereandback@Saqalicious@BahiaI wouldn't say all players flop, but yes, LeBron is certainly not the only one.

For me, the only reason this is a story is because LeBron specifically said "I don’t flop. I’ve never been one of those guys.” He is one of those guys, and while he doesn't need to own up to it, he should expect to be called out when he denies it.