INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — LeBron James isn’t a fan of the NBA’s officiating reviews.
“I’m not fond of it,” he said Friday.
James was asked about the league’s postgame reports in the aftermath of former Miami teammate Dwyane Wade‘s complaints that he was fouled in the closing seconds of a loss to Charlotte in a pivotal Game 5 on Wednesday night. In its review of the game’s final two minutes, the league said the officials got a call correct in not assessing a foul on a play involving Wade and Hornets players Courtney Lee and Cody Zeller.
On a drive to the basket, Wade drew contact as he went up for a shot. It was one of 26 events reviewed by the league in Charlotte’s 90-88 victory.
The league has provided the “Last Two Minute Report” since March 2015, a day-later, postgame report card on what happens in the final 2 minutes of games that were within five points or less.
James, who is close friends with Wade, believes the reviews are counter-productive.
“It changes absolutely nothing,” the four-time MVP said following practice. “I think it sends a bad message to our fans of thinking the game is only won in the last two minutes. A play in the first quarter is just as important as a play in the last four seconds. That’s how playoff basketball is played, that’s how the game of basketball should be played. And I think for the youth, the kids that love the game so much, I don’t think they should hear that `Oh, it’s OK to talk about the last 2-minutes calls missed.’
“We should talk about the whole game, if that’s the case because the whole game matters. You miss an assignment in the first quarter, it can hurt you in the fourth quarter.”
On Thursday, Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations, told The Associated Press said the reviews are vital to the league’s integrity.
“It’s important that we’re completely transparent and we get the information out there and people understand that we’re upfront about it and we admit mistakes,” he said. “But also, it’s important not only for the referees but for the teams and everybody else that we also talk about the ones we got right.”
AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report.