LeBron James played pretty terribly against the L.A. Clippers in the Miami Heat's noon start on Super Bowl Sunday. Even though the Heat won running away, King James had just 12 points on 6-15 shooting; his six turnovers would have been a game-high if something called a Baron Davis was not also involved. But James still gave us a highlight.
Midway through the fourth quarter with the Heat up double-digits, Eddie House shoved Clippers All-Star rookie forward Blake Griffin in the back as the dunk machine prepared to take off for a breakaway alley-oop. Griffin hit the ground hard, and referees immediately assessed a Flagrant-2 on House. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra took exception, and the officials reviewed the play on video for a solid five minutes.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst reports that LeBron encourage the refs to speed up their review.
LeBron during flagrant-2 official review: "I got a Super Bowl party to go to man, c'mon."
The NBA's relationship with the NFL and in particular the Super Bowl is interesting to watch. The NBA never schedules games during the Big Game for obvious reasons, but typically has one headliner in the run-up to kick-off. (That was the case this year with the Magic and Celtics set to finish about an hour before the Super Bowl begins.) But the league has also scheduled duds for Super Bowl Sunday in recent years, which creates an interesting game environment.
In particular, I'm thinking of Thunder-Kings from 2009. This was before Oklahoma City was awesome and exciting -- the Thunder came into the game 11-36, and the Kings were 10-38. ARCO Arena was empty, but the game was a classic. It went into overtime and finished about 10 minutes before the Super Bowl was due to begin. Bobby Jackson's post-game interview on the Kings' broadcast was both quick and hilarious.
Heat-Clippers was a bit more exciting, but clearly, when you're LeBron James, you need plenty of Super Bowl prep time.