LeBron James has 'lost the respect' of the referees in damning statement on Lakers star

Skip Bayless believes the reason LeBron James is not getting to the free-throw line is because the referees have lost respect for him.

James is recognised as one of the greatest drivers of the basketball in NBA history, but the 34-year-old has bemoaned a lack of foul calls in his favour throughout his career.

Against the Memphis Grizzlies at the weekend, he didn’t get to the charity stripe for the first time since December 2016.

And it was clear the lack of foul calls was starting to get on his nerves.

“It’s been a theme for me, personally,” he said after the game. “Pretty much in my career and over the last few years.”

However, Bayless points to how James opted to go for a three in the dying seconds of the match instead of a drive to the basket.

And he believes that results in the officials losing respect for the Lakers star, using James Harden as an example.

“It’s hard on my eyes to watch him do what he does, as he did at the end of the Memphis game, because what he’s doing is he’s running from the free-throw line,” he said on Undisputed.

“What is happening is the referees are third-level thinkers.

“They know everything that is going out there and they’re seeing between the lines.

“They’ve lost respect for LeBron because he’s such a poor free-throw shooter.

“He’s a poor free-throw for being such a superstar.

“Why does James Harden get so many calls? Because they respect him as a foul shooter.

“It’s how this game is managed by these referees.

“They will pay homage to you if you go convert at the free-throw line.

“James Harden is a 90 per cent free-throw shooter…

“The referees see that and will give him calls he does not deserve.”

source: express.co.uk