Rui Hachimura has been with the Los Angeles Lakers for barely a couple of days, and he’s already experienced so much drama. The age-old Celtics-Lakers rivalry game was marred by controversy after a blatant missed call on a LeBron James game-winner attempt. Almost everyone sided with LA, as it was painfully clear that they were shafted by the referees. After the game, Hachimura, who had front-row seats to the action, sounded off on the blown call.(video courtesy of HoopsHype).
Rui Hachimura on no foul call vs. Celtics: "It was too obvious. I was right in front of it too. We heard the noise, the sound and everybody saw it. And the referee was right there in front of them." pic.twitter.com/HxR1zfX4xa
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) January 29, 2023
With a chance to win the game for the Lakers in regulation, LeBron James found a gap in the Celtics defense. While going up for the lay-up, Jayson Tatum attempted to block LeBron at the rim, but got most of his arm. Despite the play happening in front of the referee, though (and the sound it made, per Hachimura), no foul was called.
The Lakers would proceed to lose the game in overtime. Some fans have tried to argue that it’s pointless for the Lakers to complain about the missed call, since they had a chance to win it in overtime. While there’s some merit to that, ultimately, LeBron James and LA’s complaints are completely valid. It’s one thing if it was a 50-50 call, but no. The refs admitted that they saw contact during that play, but failed to blow the whistle.
What’s done is done, unfortunately. The Lakers will now try to bounce back from this frustrating and heartbreaking loss on Monday against the Brooklyn Nets. Will they be able to put this unfortunate loss behind them?