LeBron James took a lot of heat for how he reacted to a missed call in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ loss to the Boston Celtics on Jan. 28.
The referees missed a call on Jayson Tatum in the final seconds of Boston’s game against Los Angeles at TD Garden that forced overtime where the Celtics ultimately sealed the win.
James’ reaction to the no-call became an instant meme and was roasted by former players. But for James, who’s on the verge of breaking the all-time NBA scoring record, it was the worst loss he felt in a few years.
“Several people close to James described that loss in Boston the worst for him mentally since he and the Cavaliers lost Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals to the Warriors, in overtime, on a night when James scored 51 points,” The Athletic’s Joe Vardon wrote Tuesday, adding James sat out of LA’s next game against the Brooklyn Nets because he needed to “decompress and collect himself.”
Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals was when J.R. Smith forgot how much time was left on the clock in regulation. He could have given the ball to James for the game-winner, but the game went into OT where Cleveland fell to Golden State.
It also was another instant-meme moment.
Hopefully, the loss to the Celtics isn’t lingering too much in his head. He needs just 36 points to break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record, which he could do Tuesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.