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The weird LeBron James charge that got overturned has actually happened before

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This was strange, but it’s actually happened before.

NBA: Finals-Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

You’ll probably remember Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals for J.R. Smith’s hilarious mental gaffe at the end of regulation. If you don’t remember it for that, you’ll remember it for a strange moment in the final minute of regulation when Kevin Durant was called for an offensive foul, only for it to be overturned after referee Mike Callahan called for a review.

Durant made the two free throws to tie the game, one the Warriors eventually won in overtime.

Cavaliers fans are pissed. Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue was pissed.

“It’s never been done before where you know he’s outside the restricted area, and then you go over there and overturn the ball and say it’s a block, it’s never been done in the history of the game,” Lue said at one point.

I understand his anger and confusion. I also understand the significance. I even understand Lue’s prior comments about how weird it is that a replay triggered by one question (in or out of the restricted area) can ultimately lead to answering another question (was the defender in legal guarding position) when it seemed clear James was outside the dotted line. (Tom Ziller went into more detail about all that in Point No. 3 here).

But he’s wrong about this being unprecedented. Here are three times it happened in the last 14 months.

That’s Indiana’s Thaddeus Young plowing into Oklahoma City’s Josh Huestis and getting called for a charge, only for Callahan (yes, the same Mike Callahan!) to trigger the instant replay review and then overturn the call because Huestis wasn’t in a legal guarding position.

That happened in a nationally televised game in December. Paul George’s return to Indiana, remember?

The inverse of this also happened early in the season in a Clippers-Blazers game, on a play that knocked Austin Rivers out for several weeks with a broken finger. (Warning: this is kinda gross).

This was originally called a block, but was later overturned to a charge.

That also happened a couple years ago in a late-season TNT game between the Timberwolves and Warriors, when Golden State was pushing for 73 wins. This was originally called a blocking foul on Stephen Curry, but was overturned to a charge on replay.

Is the rule confusing? Yes. Did the play need to be reviewed? Maybe not. Is it understandable that Lue and other Cavaliers are incensed that cost Cleveland two crucial points. Sure.

But was this call unprecedented? No. It’s happened before and will happen again until the league changes the rule.