Leaked footage of a visibly enraged LeBron James going after NBA ref after Lakers drop Game 2 to Nuggets

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James appeared frustrated with a referee for missing a foul call after the Lakers lost Game 2 of their first-round series with the Denver Nuggets.

James appeared to think he was fouled on a drive to the basket by either Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or Jamal Murray, calling out for an and-one after finishing at the rim.

After Murray drilled a jump shot over Anthony Davis at the buzzer to give Denver a two-point victory, James went after the ref to plead his case.

“Why didn’t you call the and-one?” James asked. “Why didn’t you call that s—? Why didn’t you call it? It was right in front of you. I’m asking you a question.”

James was seen following the official further as he walked off the floor, but eventually he was separated and walked the other way.

It’s pretty clear that James was frustrated by not getting the call, and it’s likely that frustration boiled over with the Lakers losing in heartbreaking fashion.

Los Angeles was dominated in the second half, getting outscored 57-40 by Denver to blow a major lead at halftime.

James played well for Los Angeles, dropping 26 points on 9-of-19 shooting, but he missed a big 3-point shot late in the game that allowed Denver to come down and win the contest.

The four-time champion also added eight rebounds, 12 assists, two steals and two blocks in the Game 2 loss.

In addition to following the referee after the loss, James talked about the officiating in his postgame press conference before eventually walking out.

“I don’t understand what’s going on in the replay center to be honest,” James said. “I’ve said it – I think I said this year or last year whatever – D-Lo (D’Angelo Russell) clearly gets hit in the face on a drive, what the f— do we have a replay center if it’s gonna go – it doesn’t make sense to me. It makes no sense to me. It bothers me.”

James and the Lakers are now in a tough spot, as they need to protect home court in Games 3 and 4 to even the series with the Nuggets before it shifts back to Denver.

The Lakers went 0-3 against the Nuggets in the regular season in the 2023-24 campaign, and they have lost six straight playoff matchups against them dating back to last season’s sweep in the Western Conference Finals.

Game 3 between the Lakers and Nuggets will take place on Thursday, April 25. That matchup is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. PST from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.