Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham wasn’t thrilled with some of the whistles, or lack thereof, in his team’s 108-107 loss to the Miami Heat on Monday night. Ham also defended LeBron James from accusations that he might be flopping in an attempt to get more calls.
In a physical battle between the Heat and Lakers, James was awarded just four foul shots. Late in the third quarter, Ham was given a technical foul after arguing a non-call against James, and he explained why he was so heated in his postgame press conference.
“I’ve been around this league a long time, man,” Ham said. “You have a crew chief, supposedly along with his counterparts, who has this game under control. All I want is an explanation sometimes. … Miami plays a physical brand of basketball. We’re not complaining about how physical they are. We just want balance and consistency.”
Ham also said he saw James get fouled multiple times while driving to the rim, only for there to be no foul called. According to Ham, there was clear contact with each one of them, and James wasn’t putting on any kind of act while trying to get the officials’ attention.
“I see Bron shooting four free throws and the amount of time he attacked the rim, the amount of times he was slapped on the arm, which I could see plain as day,” Ham said. “He’s not flopping. He’s not flopping. I’m watching him go to the hole strong.
“We talk about playing downhill with force, going to the rim with force and not depending on the whistle. Go make a play. If you get the whistle, great. If not, try to get the bucket first. I just need an explanation on certain plays that I felt should have gone the other way or should have not been called,” Ham said.
Taking things a step further, the Lakers sent video of what they believed to be missed calls against James to the NBA offices on Tuesday, according to ESPN. We’ll see if James starts making more frequent trips to the charity stripe now that Ham and the team have drawn more attention to this issue.