Whether this is a case of when LeBron James talks, the league listens is hard to say.
But the NBA office did upgrade one of Taj Gibson’s fouls in Wednesday’s win over Miami to flagrant, according to multiple reports.
It wasn’t the one in the fourth quarter where Gibson hit James in the shoulder, helped knock him to the ground and seemed to lead to the flagrant foul James received for running into Carlos Boozer on a screen.
The upgraded foul happened in the first quarter, at the 2:37 mark. James was going up for a shot near the basket, Gibson hit him in the face from behind, and James walked away from the collision holding his eye. He recovered to hit both free throws after a timeout.
“I really don’t remember what happened,” Gibson said Sunday. “I tried to make a play. I guess it was a foul.
“I really didn’t care. It’s in the past. I can’t do anything about that. We lost to Dallas yesterday, I could care less. I’m happy we were able to get the win tonight. The NBA is doing their job, trying to correct things. I can’t be mad at that.”
The funny thing is, Gibson is supposed to be one of James’ best friends among the Bulls. The two got to know each other when Gibson was in college and James spent some time in the summers working out at USC.
After taking several hard fouls in Wednesday’s loss to the Bulls, James complained to reporters that he doesn’t think he’s being officiated fairly.
“I don’t have any hard feelings against him,” Gibson added. “It’s basketball. It’s nothing personal; it’s not like I hate him. It’s just basketball.
“We really didn’t do anything different. We just played them the way we normally play them. Every time we play them, it’s like a playoff game. We don’t shy away from anything. Every time we play them, they adjust, we adjust. It’s all about who wants it more and both teams are really clashing.”
No change on injured list:
There was nothing new on the Bulls’ injury front. Joakim Noah missed his fifth game with plantar fasciitis, Marco Belinelli sat out for the fourth time with an abdominal strain, and Derrick Rose (knee surgery) and Rip Hamilton (sore back) remain out indefinitely.
Coach Tom Thibodeau suggested Belinelli and Noah are getting close. The Bulls’ next game is Tuesday in Washington.
“I think the big thing is you don’t want (Noah) to come back until he’s healthy,” Thibodeau said Sunday. “And the fact is that (Nazr Mohammed is) playing well, and more importantly the team is playing well. So whoever is being called upon, be ready, go out there and get the job done.”
Nate matches ex-Bull:
Nate Robinson went 7-for-7 from 3-point range Saturday against Dallas. According to Basketball Reference, the last player to be perfect on at least 7 attempts from behind the arc in an NBA game was Ben Gordon, who went 9-for-9 at Denver on March 21, 2012.
Gordon also had a 9-for-9 game when he played for the Bulls, on April 14, 2006, against Washington.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.