lebron james

To LeBron James, the simple solution could have prevented the bigger mess.

While not directly calling out the officiating crew at Tuesday’s Game 5 of this Miami Heat-Indiana Pacers Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series, James said Thursday that harsher immediate action could have prevented the eventual suspension of Heat power forward Udonis Haslem for Thursday night’s Game 6 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

James said had Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough been immediately cited for a Flagrant 2 foul Tuesday and ejected for his hard hit on Dwyane Wade, then there would have been no retaliation foul from Haslem. Hansbrough instead was cited for a Flagrant 1 foul, which allowed him to remain in the game. The NBA later upgraded the violation to a Flagrant 2 foul, which would have mandated immediate ejection…

“If there was a Flagrant 2 to start with,” James said, “then U.D. would have never fouled him, which means U.D. never would have got suspended. I mean Hansbrough, it’s not the first time that he went after one of our players this year. We have two guys suspended and basically they have no one suspended.”

– Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel