LeBron stays in game, has cut to head ‘glued’
Baxter Holmes, ESPN Staff Writer
CLEVELAND — LeBron James suffered a bloody gash on his head after colliding with a cameraman late in the second quarter Thursday in Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors.
With 4:43 left in the second quarter of Cleveland’s 103-82 loss, the Cavaliers star drove to the basket and was fouled by Warriors center Andrew Bogut.
James hit the deck, and his head collided with the camera of Peter Winik of NBA Entertainment. James lay on the court for a few minutes as teammates and Cavaliers staffers surrounded him.
He placed a towel on the back of his head, behind his right ear. He later returned to shoot two free throws. The injury didn’t have an impact on his playing time, and he finished with 20 points on 7-for-22 shooting, 12 rebounds and eight assists in 41 minutes.
James, in an interview with ESPN at halftime, said he had a headache.
“Of course I have a headache,” James said.
He also said “no stitches” when asked whether he would need them but did acknowledge that the wound was closed up by “glue.”
ESPN anchor Sage Steele asked NBA commissioner Adam Silver during halftime why James did not need to go to the back for further testing.
“If he stops bleeding, he doesn’t have to come out of the game,” Silver said. “It seemed to be a surface cut. He seemed to be fine. He hit a free throw and stayed in the game.”
Following LeBron James’ scary fall into a camera lens, many players voiced their opinions about photographers’ proximity to the court.
A Cavaliers official said the league’s concussion protocol is initiated only if there is a change in a player’s mental status, and that in James’ case, there was no change.
In a brief interview with ESPN at halftime, Winik said he felt fine after the collision, that the collision wasn’t too bad in general and that he didn’t have to clean any blood off his camera.
Winik, smiling and in good spirits, declined to answer any further questions, saying he was in “game mode.”
How close cameramen are to the court has been an issue for player safety reasons.
A league spokesman said the league has reduced the number of cameramen over the past five years from as many as 10 or 11 per quadrant to almost half that now.
Information from ESPN’s Doris Burke and ESPN.com senior writer Marc Stein was used in this report.