Last night — and for the first time since 2010 — a LeBron James-led team got a win in Salt Lake City. And for the first time in a long time, James had a play that he called “one of the worst” of his career.
In the first quarter of the Lakers’ eventual 121-96 win against the Jazz, James was bringing the ball up court as the Lakers trailed 11-5. He dribbled when going between “A” to the “H” on the “Utah” at midcourt, but after that, James took two more steps without dribbling before dribbling again. Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic turned to referee Jacyn Goble to alert her to the infraction, which was not called.
James finished the game with 20 points, 12 assists and just one turnover, but essentially admitted after the game he should have been rung up for another one.
“It was the worst thing, probably one of the worst things I’ve ever done in my career,” James said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I didn’t realize I did it until halftime. One of my coaches showed me.”
James credited his gaffe to being distracted by a collision involving Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell. While checking on that, he said he absent-mindedly shuffled his feet.
“I think at the same time, I was watching the underneath play, and KCP and Donovan got into it. KCP started to run, and Donovan bumped into him, he fell on the ground,” James said. “I think I was ready to pass the ball, and my brain just kind of just, I had a malfunction. I really had a malfunction.”
Lakers guard Danny Green said after the game that he finally saw James’ infraction as well.
“I was wondering where I was when it happened. I’m like, ‘When the hell did this happen?’ So, yeah, I didn’t catch it,” Green said. “But it was funny to see after the game.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.