LeBron James was again the recipient of a hard foul in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 99-84 game three loss to the Toronto Raptors, as he was wrapped up by Bismack Biyombo late in the fourth quarter on his way to the basket.
The foul led to a scuffle in which the King had to be restrained by his teammates as he reacted angrily to the play by the Raptors big man.
Only recently, LeBron expressed frustration at not getting enough flagrant fouls from officials and receiving different treatment compared to other players.
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Biyombo was hit with a flagrant-one for this particular play and though James was visibly incensed, he isn't normally one to react to the physicality he comes up against.
In the post-game press conference, James was asked what his mentality was towards these hard fouls, to which he replied by referring to quotes by rapper Jay-Z in a song called "Streets is Watching".
“I always think back to the Jay Z phrase, and a line he had of, ‘If I shoot you, then I’m brainless. If you shoot me, you’re famous. What am I to do?’ So, that always plays in my head any time I feel like I want to react. I’ve got to keep my brain.”
The four-time MVP is the leader of the Cavs and takes pride in that responsibility and always wants set an example for his teammates. Therefore, he says he can't make the mistake of reacting because he knows how crucial he is for the team and their hopes of winning.
“At the end of the day, I'm important to this team. I can't afford to react in any kind of way that will get me thrown out of a game, but I will protect myself,” James continued. “I will protect myself.
"When I was in high school, I got low-bridged playing in an AAU tournament as a junior in high school. A kid just low-bridged me and I fell and broke my wrist. That kind of thought always plays in my mind either when I'm getting thrown to the ground or if it's a borderline dirty play.”
The Cavaliers suffered their first postseason loss of the year at the Air Canada Centre snapping their 10-0 streak. James had a team-high 24 points but could not lead the Wine and Gold to a victory as his running mates Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love had awful shooting nights, going for a combined 4-of-28 from the field.
With the Cavs still holding a 2-1 lead in the series, LeBron and co. will be hoping to put one foot in the NBA finals with a win in Canada on Monday night in game four.