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LeBron James responds to Steve Kerr's Lakers gamesmanship comments

LeBron responds to Kerr's comments about Lakers' gamesmanship originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers disagree with the notion that they are prone to flopping.

In speaking to reporters after the Lakers' 121-106 Game 5 loss to Golden State on Wednesday at Chase Center, James responded to Warriors coach Steve Kerr's comments about Los Angeles' "gamesmanship."

"I just know that we and our coaching staff and us players, we don't work on flopping. That's not even a part of our game," James said. "Our game is to attack, attack the paint. We don't mind physical contact, and we don't shy away from it. [We're] just not a team that goes out there looking for flopping opportunities. It's not us. It's never been.

"It's actually never been [for] any team that I've been on in my 20 years where we've been a flopping team. It is what it is. They have a right to say what they want to say, but the game is always won between the four lines. We got to be better on Friday, for sure."

Kerr, in his postgame press conference Monday after the Warriors' 104-101 Game 4 loss, alluded to the Lakers receiving favorable calls due to flopping.

"The Lakers -- they're a team that plays with a lot of gamesmanship," Kerr said. "They understand how to generate some calls. I thought they took some flops and were rewarded."

Lakers coach Darvin Ham, in speaking with TNT's Chris Haynes on the court after the first quarter of Game 5, seemingly responded to Kerr's comments when asked if he was surprised by a no-call after Dennis Schröder fell to the floor on a play under the basket, saying he and his coaching staff "don't teach flopping."

In speaking with reporters after Game 5, Ham was asked why his team shot just 15 free throws on the night and if the flopping accusations impacted the officiating.

"I mean, we played the same way we always play," Ham explained. "I don't know. I don't know what's a foul anymore.

"We play a physical brand of basketball. We don't teach flopping, we don't teach head snaps. You see Bron, he's got a thousand scratches on his arms. Same with AD, same with Austin Reaves, same with Lonnie Walker. It's unfortunate that it comes to that, but we hadn't done it all year, and we're damn sure not going to start now, looking for a third party to dive in and help us."

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The Lakers have had an overwhelming advantage at the free-throw line this series, although the Warriors (14 of 15) made more shots from the charity stripe than Los Angeles (12 of 15) on Wednesday.

Golden State will need to continue to keep pace in that department if it hopes to win on the road in Game 6 on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena and in a potential Game 7 on Sunday at Chase Center.

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