Eric Lewis, the team’s referee panel chief during the Lakers vs. Celtics game, said they misread the no-call on LeBron James’ final drive.
The Los Angeles Lakers were robbed in their game against the Boston Celtics on Saturday night. The team was on the verge of a hard-fought win over the team with the best record in the NBA. However, a failure to notice that LeBron James was fouled on the final drive of regulation time resulted in it being a loss for LA.
Reactions spilled over and fans left in disbelief at how obvious the referee’s error was. LeBron James himself seemed to have transcended anger, just wondering what exactly is going on that he can’t get obvious fouls called against him. And while these situations aren’t easy for the umpires either, even they know they screwed up this time.
Crew Chief Eric Lewis spoke about Patrick Beverley’s technique and the non-call to LeBron James
There’s a trend in the league where post-game reports have teams seeing calls wrongly going against them in the clutch. The Sacramento Kings fell victim to it, and it doesn’t add up to much when you consider the outcome can’t be changed. However, the Lakers will feel at least somewhat vindicated after watching quotes from Eric Lewis, the head umpire during their duel against the Celtics, who accepted his crew got it wrong.
ASK: “Why was Patrick Beverley given a technical foul at the end of the rule?”
LEWIS: “His actions were inappropriate to address resentment of not calling.”
ASK: “It looked like he pulled out a camera – did he want to show you something?”
LEWIS: “Yes, that was part of his improper actions.”
ASK: “It looked like there was contact with LeBron’s drive at the end of regulation. Why wasn’t there a foul call there and what did you see there?”
LEWIS: “There was contact. Back then, during the game, we didn’t see a foul. The crew missed the play.”
Patrick Beverley’s technical foul was wild and he deserved it, although rightly annoyed at not calling. As for the LeBron James incident, there’s no doubt that officials screwed it up. This will be some consolation for the Lakers with a loss added to their season tally, but it’s good to see the umpires accepting it was their fault and that they properly missed that call.