Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James has suggested that he may have to protect himself more after being the recipient of a second flagrant foul in three games.
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The latest controversial moment came in Wednesday’s win over the Toronto Raptors when center Jonas Valanciunas wrapped James up around the neck and shoulders as he drove to the lane.
While the incident was initially assessed a common foul, it was upgraded to a flagrant foul 1 after an official’s review of the video replay.
However, even though the officials moved to correct their decision, James is growing a little frustrated with the treatment he receives from opposing defenders.
“Maybe I got to protect myself a little bit more, too,” he said, according to ESPN.
“I don’t want to get too much involved in it because I don’t want to cry about it because it’s not like I’m not able to get back up, but it’s a lot of plays that are just not basketball plays.”
Coach David Blatt also came to the defence of his star man by insisting that it is nothing new and that James has been the target of hard fouls all his career. However, the key aspect of the problem is that his strength and aggressiveness means that a lot of things go unnoticed or unpunished.
Meanwhile, Blatt refused to respond to a question over whether retaliation was the best response in this situation: “I’m not going to answer that question. That’s a dangerous question. No disrespect. That’s just not a question that I’m going to answer.”
Nevertheless, James has insisted that he knows that he can’t afford to react as ultimately that is part of why teams foul him so hard and that will end up costing both him and his teammates. The 30-year-old will hope that he doesn’t have to take too many more kicks to the groin though…