Shannon on LeBron’s ejection: ‘A foul is a foul whether the guy is Muggsy Bogues or Shaq!’
Reacting to LeBron James' ejection in the Cavs' win over the Miami Heat, Shannon Sharpe explains to Skip Bayless that although LeBron shouldn't have used any colorful language towards the referee, The King did not commit a foul and shouldn't be officiated differently based on his size and force in which he plays.
JOY TAYLOR: Shannon, did LeBron deserve to be ejected?
SHANNON SHARPE: Kane Fitzgerald is full of caca, Skip Bayless, and you know it. You know it too, Skip.
SKIP BAYLESS: Did you know who Kane Fitzgerald was until last night?
SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah, he wanted to get to know him or write a book in about 15 years when he would get LeBron James.
SKIP BAYLESS: So, he might go down in history as the only ref who has ever ejected, because I'm not sure LeBron will ever get ejected again.
SHANNON SHARPE: Skip, LeBron said the magic word. You know if you use the F, said it several times that he was going to get tossed. But LeBron, the thing that I love most about-- most great, and I can say this about LeBron because I've followed his entire career. LeBron James played to a standard. The score does not dictate how he plays. Up 25, down 23, he's going to play the exact same way. He wants the game to be officiated the exact same way.
And if I put it in football terms, if Tom Brady's Patriots are up 30 points and somebody jumps offside, they don't say, well, Tom, come on, man, you already up 30 point. They ain't throwing no flag if the guy jumps offside. If he's offsides, he's offsides. You throw the flag, regardless of the score.
LeBron James is saying forget the fact that we're up 25, the guy fouled me. He threw an air punch directly at me. All LeBron did was like, man, that was a foul. That was a F'g foul and you know it. That's what he did. He threw an air punch directly at me. For real? For real, Skip Bayless?
SKIP BAYLESS: Not for real. He did not.
SHANNON SHARPE: Even you--
SKIP BAYLESS: I am with you. I am with you.
SHANNON SHARPE: You keep-- keep--
SKIP BAYLESS: He was probably what, 30 feet away--
SHANNON SHARPE: Yes.
SKIP BAYLESS: --when he threw the air punch.
SHANNON SHARPE: And then-- and then he talking about he-- and then he--
SKIP BAYLESS: Aggressively--
SHANNON SHARPE: --walked towards me.
SKIP BAYLESS: OK.
SHANNON SHARPE: Really. I mean, what do you have-- you should have called security because you thought LeBron had a firearm, or a weapon or something. Because you felt in fear for your life. You need to stop embellishing this story. I feel very comfortable in saying, Skip Bayless, he will not referee one game in the playoffs. I feel very comfortable in saying that.
But any way, as I was saying, Tom Brady does not care any less being up or down. He plays to a standard. Most greats play to a standard, and I'm tired of this notion, well, he's so hard to referee, Joy. Joy, he's so hard. He's the size of Carl Malone, he can drive the ball like Magic, I don't care.
When Dr. Naismith invented the game of basketball, he did not weigh in a certain height or a certain weight gets more calls or less calls. If a foul is a foul, you call it. LeBron James is driving the ball more in the last-- let's-- hold on, let me make sure I get this right. In the last five years, he's driving 10.8 per game, but he's shooting the career low free throw attempts.
So let me get this correct now, he's driving more, but he's shooting less. He's second in points in the paint behind Gian-- Giannis Antetokounmpo. Just wanted to say that name, Skip.
SKIP BAYLESS: He has the second most shots within three feet of the basket--
SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah.
SKIP BAYLESS: --to Greek Freak.
SHANNON SHARPE: Yes. So-- but he's 19th at free throw attempts.
SKIP BAYLESS: Uh-huh.
SHANNON SHARPE: All behind Bradley Beal, Andrew Wiggins. Bradley Beal is a spot up shooter.
SKIP BAYLESS: Career low free throw attempts for LeBron James.
SHANNON SHARPE: But he's driving the ball at a five year high. Something does not compute, Skip. It's to say that he like Shaq. You know, Shaq was so hard to officiate. No. A foul is a foul, whether the guy is Muggsy Bogues, or the guy's Shaquille O'Neal. If you foul the guy, call the guy. And that's what LeBron was frustrated about. He's like, hold on, I'm playing to a standard. Forget the score. I don't care what the score is. You fouled me, you saw the foul, call the foul.
But he said he did, he did deserve to get thrown out of the game, Skip. He said it, he said those magic words. You used the FU in earshot, but he could have-- you know, he could have just like, OK, LeBron, that's enough. Maybe I missed it. OK. That's enough. He wanted to run it-- because he knew he missed the call. And, guess what, I was on the phone with LeBron last night, and he was on the phone with Adam Silver last night.
SKIP BAYLESS: Really?
SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah. So I'm just going to leave that as that.