We all know superstars get better treatment with the refs, and we understand why. People tune in to watch the stars, and you don't want them injured. Sometimes, they won't call a foul on them, so they don't foul out. Fine. But last night, LeBron did something that should result in a suspension.
Anyone who's ever practiced a sport where people leap from the ground heard their coach yell, "NEVER TOUCH A PERSON WHEN THEY'RE IN THE AIR!!!" This vas a very dangerous and dirty play from LeBron. He didn't want to get posterized, so he moved out of the way and pushed Embiid mid-air. It's only dumb luck that Embiid didn't get hurt. The consequence? A flagrant 1.
“That was a very dangerous play. I guarantee if it was me, I would have been thrown out of the game.”
Joel Embiid, via John Clark
In addition to LeBron's shove, Gasol also gave him a nudge from the back that didn't help. I get superstars getting protection from getting fouled and not getting the 6th foul in the 4th quarter of a late game. But this was a dirty play that could've ended with a serious injury, it's the middle of the season, and we know LeBron could use a few games rest. Embiid pointed out he got a Flagrant 1 for an elbow that was not even close to his situation with LeBron.
The basketball Gods made sure this didn't affect the game. Tobias Harris sank a mid-ranger with 2.4 seconds left in the game to win it for Philly 107 - 106. I have no illusions Adam Silver is going to OK a suspension on LeBron, and that's wrong. If the NBA robs fans, paying customers, of stars playing in games for "injury management," how about making sure players don't injure each other through dirty plays?
P.S. The game was in Philly, and the Lakers were in blue uniforms. That was just awful and confusing to watch. The NBA gets a lot of things right, but some of the things they get wrong are just baffling.