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LeBron James says NBA protects shooters over players attacking the rim

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James says the league protects shooters over players attacking the rim.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

According to LeBron James, he’s not getting to the free throw line as often as he should. He also says he knows why that’s the case.

“There’s no reason I should be going to the line four times in a game when I drive 100 times to the paint and I’m getting hit and slapped and grabbed and whatever and what not,” James said Sunday after the Cavs lost to the Spurs and he attempted only four free throws. “We protect the shooter. That’s what it’s turned into. Chicks dig the long ball and that’s what it’s about.”

Teammate Tristan Thompson echoed James’ thoughts and said James’ size plays a part in him not getting as many calls.

“He attacks the rim a lot so it’s up to the ref. It’s on them to make the calls,” Thompson said. “I think with him being so strong and athletic, just because he’s bigger and stronger than everyone, doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean a foul. I think he gets fouled more than anyone in this league and he gets hit but people kind of take advantage of the fact that he’s 280 and he’s a freight train.”

As of Sunday, James was attempting the second-fewest free throw attempts per game of his career, per basketball-reference, so perhaps he’s onto something. And he certainly does take on a fair amount of contract every time he drives to the rim. Perhaps calling attention to it after a game is the first step in starting to get more calls.