LeBron James is having a tremendous 2020-21 campaign thus far. He is averaging 25.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.9 assists per outing, and is the primary reason why his Los Angeles Lakers are currently 21-6 and sitting comfortably in the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
While Anthony Davis is in such bad shape that he is literally getting called out by opposing teams for it, James is continuing to be the ageless wonder he’s been for several seasons now – despite being one of the 10 slowest players in the whole league.
There’s a reason why James is one of Magic Johnson’s 14 favorites to win the NBA championship this year.
That said, he isn’t without fault.
On Friday night, James ticked off a lot of fans during his team’s showdown against the Memphis Grizzlies.
With just over two minutes remaining in the second quarter and his team down by 13, James flopped in horrendous fashion in the process of battling for a rebound.
It was so bad that even the announcers couldn’t believe their eyes.
“Are you serious?” one could be heard saying.
Needless to say, Twitter had some reactions.
LeBron with the Oscar winning flop pic.twitter.com/NS88rkj7QZ
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) March 1, 2020
To James’ credit, his position on flopping has remained consistent.
“Some guys have been doing it for years, just trying to get an advantage,” he said a few years back, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN. “Any way you can get an advantage over the opponent to help your team win, so be it.”
Now we know what motivates Steph to play so hard. https://t.co/LVXdFffc6b
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 13, 2021
That said, the NBA at least pretends to discourage flopping. And as such, given how brutally blatant James’ was, a punishment of some magnitude would seem reasonable.
In a league where Giannis Antetokounmpo’s jump shot is openly mocked and ridiculed by fellow players, it’s insane that James’ flopping is met with such a ho-hum response.
He should definitely be penalized.
The hits keep coming. https://t.co/tAgVSV1zRh
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 11, 2021
Will it happen? Probably not. The league loves protecting its stars.
Should it happen? Absolutely.