Despite trailing 22-2 early in the first quarter, the Los Angeles Lakers secured their seventh straight win on Friday night, taking down the Memphis Grizzlies, 115-105. As per usual, LeBron James helped lead the way, finishing with 28 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in another stellar performance.
But he didn't just excel at basketball against the Grizzlies. He also put on a fine acting show, one that was so good it ended up earning him a warning from the league for violating the anti-flopping rule.
Late in the second quarter, LeBron was battling for position under the basket while Anthony Davis pulled up for a 3-point attempt from the wing. As Davis' shot clanged off the rim, LeBron made minimal contact with Dillon Brooks and fell to the floor, waving his arms dramatically on the way down. The deception worked, and Brooks was whistled for a loose ball foul.
A stunned Brooks laughed as he turned away, and his teammates were equally confused. But the best reaction came from the Grizzlies' broadcast team, who simply couldn't believe that LeBron had gotten away with it.
"Are you serious? Are you kidding me, man?... That is awful, horrible, whatever other words you can come up with that are synonyms with those. That's what that was."
Sorry to kick the Grizzlies while they're already down, but the way the announcers bypass anger and just go straight to despondence is so funny. It was the NBA broadcast equivalent of Jesse from Breaking Bad saying "He can't keep getting away with it!"
Unfortunately for the Grizzlies and the rest of the league, he probably will keep getting away with it because he's the best player in the world. A warning is only that: a warning. There won't be any real punishment unless the league determines he flops again, at which point there would start to be fines. And even then, what's $5,000 to LeBron James?