One of the strangest moments of the NBA Playoffs so far came during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors when LeBron James prevented Raptors guard Norman Powell from committing an illegal substitution.
The incident, which can be seen below, involved LeBron pulling on Powell's jersey to physically keep him on the court and stop the penalty:
However, though it seems like it was a nice gesture from James, Powell wasn't thrilled with an opponent grabbing his jersey.
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Powell said there were more respectful ways LeBron could have gotten his attention, saying he feels like he had a right to be upset about the incident:
"They were subbing in PJ [Tucker], he thought I was coming out, he was pulling my jersey," Powell told ESPN before Sunday's Game 4. "I hit his hand away and told him, 'You don't do that.' I told him not to pull my jersey. We got into it a little bit. I told him not to pull my jersey. If he's trying to get my attention, call my name, call my number, but don't do that. Don't pull my jersey like that."
In the Cavaliers' 115-94 Game 3 victory, the prevented penalty didn't exactly have much of an impact on the final outcome, but Powell was still angry about it on Sunday.
Powell said he felt like LeBron was trying to pull off a power move by tugging on his jersey and said no player should do that to another player:
"I just don't like that," Powell told ESPN. "I don't care if it's LeBron or if it's anybody. It could be Kawhi [Leonard], it could be anybody. Just don't pull my jersey. I feel like that's a little disrespectful, you know what I'm saying? Like you're trying to son me, and I don't go for that."
After the Raptors fell 109-102 in Game 4 as the Cavaliers completed the series sweep, Powell will have all offseason to stew about the Game 3 incident.
Meanwhile, James and the Cavaliers have won all eight of the games so far this postseason and will now await the winner of the other Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards.
After sweeping the Indiana Pacers in the first round, LeBron and his teammates will again have plenty of time to rest as they wait for their next opponent.
Currently, the Celtics lead the Wizards 2-1 in the best-of-seven series, with Game 4 taking place on Sunday evening in Washington D.C.