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5 Times LeBron James lost his cool on the basketball court

Modified 06 Jan 2021, 17:59 IST

LeBron James and the scuffle against the New York Knicks

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks
Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks

LeBron James uncharacteristically acted as instigator and courted controversy with the New York Knicks in 2017. In an interview, James claimed the franchise should have selected Dennis Smith Jr. in the 2017 NBA Draft with the eighth pick instead of Frank Ntilikina.

While LeBron James' comments were directed as praise for Smith, they were critical of the Knicks, their president Phil Jackson (who had previously referred to James' inner circle as a 'posse'), and young Ntilikina.

During the next game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New York Knicks, the King got into a scuffle with Ntilikina, who pushed James following an alley-oop dunk. Things got heated, and Enes Kanter squared up to LeBron as the scuffle threatened to blow up.

LeBron James vs. Draymond Green in the 2016 NBA Finals

2016 NBA Finals
2016 NBA Finals

The 2016 NBA Finals will always be remembered for LeBron James' and the Cavs' come back from 3-1 down against the Golden State Warriors.


The turning point in the series came in Game 4, as the Warriors were ready to win at the Quicken Loans Arena and establish a commanding 3-1 lead.

Late in the fourth quarter, LeBron James and Draymond Green got into an argument which ultimately ended with Green being suspended for the pivotal Game 5. The Warriors star was accused of trying to hit James in the groin and was hit with a Flagrant Foul 1 (which was his fourth of the 2016 NBA Playoffs, resulting in a one-game ban).

LeBron James and JR Smith's disaster in the 2018 NBA Finals

2018 NBA Finals
2018 NBA Finals

In the first game of the 2018 NBA Finals against Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors, LeBron James had one of the greatest performances in NBA Playoff history, scoring 51 points.


A great pass from James to George Hill sent the point guard to the FT line with less than five seconds left in the game and the Cavs down by a single point. Hill tied the game with the first free-throw but missed his second attempt.

JR Smith grabbed the offensive rebound but forgot that scores were level. Assuming the Cavs were ahead, Smith dribbled the clock out. LeBron James was distraught and cut an angry on the Cavs' bench before the team lost in overtime.

After losing Game 4, LeBron James revealed to the media that he had a fracture in his right hand, which was sustained after punching a whiteboard in the aftermath of the Game 1 loss.

Also read: New York Knicks 'All In' on Russell Westbrook Trade if the Price is Right

Published 17 Nov 2020, 20:57 IST
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