Miami Heat superstar LeBron James fouled out of Game 4 against the Boston Celtics on Sunday. James picked up his sixth foul of the game in overtime, sending him to the bench when the Heat needed him the most. Whatever happens to James in any game, much less a playoff game, is sure to invite a heated debate, but the call that put James out of the game looked like a stretch even to the least partisan of observers.
James backed down Mickael Pietrus, sending him to the floor. It looked as though Pietrus might have been indulging himself in a little acting. It was incidental contact at worst.
James sounded off on the call immediately after the game:
"I don't foul out. That sixth foul, I wish I would have earned it and it actually would have been a foul."
At the post-game presser he echoed that sentiment:
"I know how to play game of basketball, I know I don't need the advantage of holding somebody or pushing somebody down"
Game 5 happens on Tuesday night, with the series now evened at 2-2. Expect the call on James to loom large as a subtext to the next game, if not the rest of the series depending on how things unfold.