Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
I think I just tripled the amount of hate mail I’m going to get for this piece.
“Not only is Kobe not ranked, but you have LeBron as low as 15? What’s going on here?!”
Well, the only reason James is making an appearance on this list at all is because he dishes out the fouls almost as often as he receives them; he’s just rarely on the wrong end of the call.
Don’t get me wrong, James usually has a point when he expresses disgust or anguish when his fouls are not called. He’s so big, so fast that often, the only means of slowing him down is fouling him.
The problem is that if officials called every single bump against James, the game would never end and would lose all continuity.
Can you imagine the NBA trying to promote a LeBron James game then?
I can hear it now: “See LeBron as you’ve never seen him before, practicing free throws” or “Watch tonight as LeBron James aims for the NBA record of most time spent at the foul line.”
On one hand, its almost unfair that James doesn’t get all the calls he earns, but when you consider that he isn’t called for all his transgressions, it balances out.
When LeBron James gets a full head of steam in the open floor, there are few things in the NBA, or on all of earth for that matter, that can deter him from slamming the ball through the rim with the force of a cannon.
It's good entertainment, it makes would-be defenders look frail and silly and it boosts ratings.
It's probably for that reason that he is rarely called for an offensive foul.
And James knows it.
That’s why he doesn’t bother trying to go around defenders; he’s made a living going through him.
However, in doing so, he’s guilty of charging far more often than NBA officiating would have you believe. In the rare event that he’s actually called for it, he protests to the heavens, in clear violation of the NBA’s “respect for the game” rule.
But being the NBA’s favorite son, he’s rarely called for that either. Interesting stat: James has only been called for three technical fouls all season.
It must be sweet to be the king.