LeBron James after receiving two flagrant fouls in his last three games: ‘Maybe I got to protect myself a little bit more’
LeBron James was kicked in the groin by James Harden on Sunday, and then was grabbed around the neck and brought to the floor by Jonas Valanciunas two games later.
Somewhat predictably, he’s growing tired of the excessively physical plays being made against him.
LeBron has long talked about how non-basketball plays were the ones he’s had the most disdain for, and that once again was a familiar refrain after the win over the Raptors. But he also mentioned something else, which hinted at something that could resemble retaliation.From Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com:
After being the recipient of a second flagrant foul in his past three games,Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James said he might have to take matters into his own hands in the future.
“Maybe I got to protect myself a little bit more, too,” James said after the Cavs’ 120-112 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. ...
“I don’t want to get too much involved in it because I don’t want to cry about it because it’s not like I’m not able to get back up, but it’s a lot of plays that are just not basketball plays. ...But the referees, they take care of it. They decide what [type of foul] it is or not. That’s what we got rules for. And for me, I need to maintain my focus and understand how important the game is, but at the same time, protect myself as well.”
It isn’t on James to do something to fight back that could get him ejected or suspended; for his opponents, that would be the best outcome possible.
But his teammates could certainly step in and issue a well-timed hard foul in these situations, just to send an important message that James will in fact be protected out there on a consistent basis.