With nearly nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, a steamrolling LeBron James looked to be fouled hard by Mirza Teletovic. An uneventful scrum convened under the basket. The play was reviewed and LeBron was assessed an offensive foul and Teletovic a flagrant-1. LeBron was pissed, Teletovic bemused. Mike Breen hits this one pretty squarely on the head: in the heat of the moment, in real time, this looks much worse than it probably was.
LeBron was driving a fast break and dispatched Andrei Kirilenko with a little forearm joust that sent AK into orbit. A whistle for a foul blew the play dead, but as James continued his momentum, Teletovic grabbed him around the shoulders/neck and sort of twisted LeBron, then quickly released him. It really wasn't all that bad, and maybe LeBron realized that pretty early on since he never really pursued Teletovic, allowing himself to be held back by Michael Beasley and Roger Mason, Jr.
There's a lot to love from the play, even forgetting that a dude with "King James" on his back is getting restrained by another with "B-Easy" on his. First, Kirilenko's absolutely ridiculous flop. He looks like Darth Vader getting nicked by a TIE fighter and spun out of the trench run:
Then there is Hulk LeBron feigning like he's going to go after Teletovic.
After the game, LeBron and Teletovic did not see eye-to-eye on the call. James was upset he went around his neck (and reacts in the clip like he got hit in the face) and said "[t]hat was not a basketball play."
Teletovic—who smiled a wonderful troll-smile as LeBron was "held back"—saw it differently.
"It was just a foul," Teletovic said. "I just tried to make a foul, and he was coming down the court. He shouldn't be reacting like that. It's just basketball."
The Nets beat the Heat 104-95 in double-overtime and LeBron actually fouled out in the first overtime period. It was the first time he fouled out of a regular season game since 2008. At both the end of regulation and the first OT Paul Pierce had a shot to win the game and missed. With LeBron out, the Nets were able to jump out to an 11-point lead in the second overtime and never looked back.