Sam Smith of Bulls.com makes a great case proving NBA referees treat LeBron James like no other star player… past or present.
In 12 of the 20 games since then (March 1), James has been called for one or zero fouls in a game. James had a stretch of five straight games to conclude March averaging 36.8 minutes per game without being called for one foul. Not one in five games! In the last nine games, James has been called for three personal fouls. It's really amazing given the involvement James has in the action of the game.
"It's impossible," said one team executive.
MJ averaged fewer than two fouls per game only in his last two seasons, and never as few as James' current 1.72. Among some of the great perimeter players in history, at a time when substantially more perimeter contact was allowed, Larry Bird averaged about 2.5 fouls, Magic Johnson 2.26 and Jerry West and Oscar Robertson well above two per game.
In the game now, Kobe Bryant has a career average of about 2.7 fouls per game and is about 2.3 this season. Dwyane Wade has a career average of 2.67 and is about 2.2 this season.
It simply defies explanation how James, who is an aggressive player, can be whistled for so few fouls per game, and especially at a time his team is saying he never has played better defense and when the rules are more stringent regarding perimeter contact. Can he truly be that perfect?
The answer is no. It sickens me that David Stern allows his referees to do their job with such a blatant bias.
For those wondering, here are the avg fouls per game for the Celtics starters – the team with the best defensive field goal percentage in the league:
- Pierce – 2.7
- R. Allen – 2.0
- Garnett – 2.20
- Rondo – 2.50
- Perkins – 3.40
Looks like it will be 5-on-8 in the Eastern Conference Finals.