LeBron James run-in leaves crew chief Scott Foster left with bloody mouth in Nuggets-Lakers

Mar 27, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; NBA referee Scott Foster during the Philadelphia 76ers against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Foster might have earned some hazard pay in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals between the Lakers and Nuggets. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Getting in LeBron James‘ way is a dangerous business, even if you’re an NBA official.

Crew chief Scott Foster was left with a bloody mouth when James inadvertently ran into him near the end of the second quarter of Game 3 of the Western Conference finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets. Replay showed James had hit Foster with his shoulder while looking across the court in transition.

Play was briefly stopped as Foster had his mouth treated by medical personnel, but he remained in the game and apparently in good spirits as the game started back up.

Foster is one of the NBA’s longest-tenured officials at 29 seasons of experience, but also a figure of notoriety among many NBA fans for some questionable decisions over the years, especially in the playoffs. He might be most known for his relationship with Phoenix Suns veteran Chris Paul, a good friend of James who is 2-17 in postseason games officiated by Foster.

Of course, that doesn’t mean he deserves to get a shoulder to the face from James.

With the Lakers down 58-55 at the half and down 2-0 in the series, they could only hope Foster wouldn’t hold a grudge. Whether or not he did, it didn’t work out for Los Angeles, who lost the game 119-108 to fall behind 3-0 in the series.

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