Cameras Caught LeBron James Having On-Court Meltdown in Front of Darvin Ham vs. Nuggets

Screengrab on Twitter/ @Rachel_Nichols

The Los Angeles Lakers’ Game 4 win over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night wasn’t without drama.

Usually, that drama takes the form of the Lakers blowing a double-digit lead as they have for the last three consecutive series matchups against the Nuggets. Yet Game 4 was different, not only because the Lakers held onto their lead for the win, but because Los Angeles star LeBron James had one of his biggest on-court blowups of the year.

Early in the fourth quarter with the Lakers up 15, James was visibly outraged after the Lakers chose not to challenge an out-of-bounds call. The officials ruled that James touched the ball last, though slow-motion replays revealed that the ball indeed went off of Nuggets’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

James unsuccessfully pleaded with his coaches to challenge the call and was seen furiously shouting at the Lakers bench and even stomping on the court.

Fans were concerned, mostly for Lakers coach Darvin Ham’s job security. 

The missed challenge opportunity ultimately proved inconsequential as the Lakers rolled to a 119-108 victory to avoid a first-round postseason exit. James recorded his 19th career 30-point game when facing elimination, the most all-time. Game 5 of the series is on Monday at Ball Arena.

Kristen Wong


Kristen Wong is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. She has been a sports journalist since 2020. Before joining SI, Kristen covered four NFL teams as an associate editor with the FanSided NFL Network and worked as a staff writer for the brand’s flagship site. She has written about soccer, the NFL, NBA, and MLB since 2020, and outside of work, has dreams of running her own sporty dive bar.