National Basketball Association
LeBron smashes head on camera, Bogut says he did it on purpose
National Basketball Association

LeBron smashes head on camera, Bogut says he did it on purpose

Published Jun. 11, 2015 10:06 p.m. ET

The Cleveland Cavaliers held their breaths for a few minutes in the second quarter of Game 4 on Thursday night, when LeBron James tumbled into the crowd following a foul and hit his head against a courtside camera.

But once the team and its fans were able to exhale, others lost their emotions -- on the cameraman.

James was driving to the basket along the baseline when he was fouled by Golden State center Andrew Bogut with 4:43 left to go in the first half and the Cavaliers trailing 44-32.

James immediately grabbed his head and began writhing in pain, and cameras showed his hands with blood on them, presumably from his head being cut open.


But while James was on the ground, cameras also appeared to catch Nike executive Lynn Merritt cussing out the cameraman, though it appeared the cameraman was in the proper spot -- that spot just happened to be the wrong one at the wrong time.

Even better, Bogut claimed James jumped into the camera on purpose.

"Yeah, I think he came down and took two steps and then fell into the cameraman," the Australian big man told the media after the game. "I definitely, definitely didn't hit him that hard."

Here is more Bogut sound:

After covering his head with a towel, James rose to his feet and walked to the free-throw line, ESPN cameras showing what appeared to be one or two gashes on his head.

That led to some other rather well-known tweeters to voice their thoughts about camerapersons and the field / court of play. Starting with a guy who knows a thing or two about playoff games in a different sport.

As for some people more familiar with the incident James found himself in:

Despite the NBA's rules about players coming out of the game when blood is present, as well as the league's concussion protocol, James remained in the game and hit one of the two subsequent free throws.

"No, I didn't have to go through any concussion protocol," James told the media after the game, according to USA Today. "I had a slight headache, which I think every last one of you guys would probably have if you ran into a camera ... But I didn't go through any protocol. I'm fine.

"I was just trying to regain my composure and I was holding my head," James added. "It was hurting. I was just hoping I wasn't bleeding. But obviously the camera cut me pretty bad. Our medical staff did a great job of stopping the bleeding."

ABC anchor Sage Steele asked NBA Commissioner Adam Silver during halftime why James did not need to go to the back for further testing.

"If he stops bleeding he doesn't have to come out of the game," Silver said. "It seemed to be a surface cut, he seemed to be fine. He hit a free throw and stayed in the game."

James finished the game with 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, but his Cavs were thumped by the Warriors, 103-82, evening the series at two games apiece.

To see the foul and aftermath, click here.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report

In the first moments after LeBron James' tumble into the crowd Thursday, it did not look good for the Cavaliers and their fans.


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