It was a long night for the Miami Heat and, specifically, reigning NBA MVP LeBron James. Not only did Twitter tear into him for a blatant flop, but James received little support and thus saw his team lose by double digits.
James' frustration was summed up in one play, as he was called for a questionable offensive foul and then received a technical mere seconds later.
According to Palm Beach Post reporter Ethan J. Skolnick, The King had this to say about the technical after the game:
LeBron: "I said absolutely nothing. I ran down the court to get away from the scene of the crime."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 2, 2013
James entered the lane, attacking the rim and meeting Roy Hibbert directly under the iron. The long-awaited meeting of the titans finally transpired, but it didn't go as we all expected.
LeBron and Hibbert collided, and it was the offensive player that received the personal-foul call—one that resulted in James running off in anger.
LeBron James is just getting some wind sprints in right now.— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) June 2, 2013
As funny as that tweet may be, the result wasn't as humorous.
LeBron responded by sprinting full speed across the court, going from baseline to baseline with a head of steam. As impressive an athletic display as this was, it caught the referee's eye and thus resulted in the worst-case scenario.
A technical foul—and then another on Miami's coaching staff, giving the opponent two free throws and possession.
Oh LeBron... That's just idiotic... Automatic tech!— Vince Galloway (@Vince_Galloway) June 2, 2013
Even if the validity of the personal foul was in doubt, the technical wasn't quite as contested.
As head-scratching as the sprinting may have been, it was, admittedly, one of the more intriguing moments of the game. This isn't a slight to the action that transpired, but instead an acknowledgement of how quickly he went from end to end.
It took less than four seconds, even as LeBron slowed up around the free-throw line.
LeBron James officially is Bo Jackson.— Jared Wade (@8pts9secs) June 2, 2013
An odd thing to focus on, but an extraordinary showcase of athleticism nonetheless.
As frustrating a moment as it may have been for LeBron, the Twittersphere didn't hesitate to poke fun at his expense. In fact, many offered feedback as to what and where the four-time MVP should be running to.
LeBron should've just kept running back to Cleveland.— Myles Brown (@mdotbrown) June 2, 2013
Considering the lack of support he's received this series, it seems as if he never left the Cavaliers.
During his postgame interview, LeBron was inevitably asked what transpired and why he ran cross-court. The easy response would have been that he was angry, but James went more in-depth with his response.
It was about protecting his game eligibility.
LeBron on foul: "I had to run down the floor to keep from getting kicked out."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 2, 2013
At the end of the day, one technical foul is better than an ejection.