Canon camera gets LeBron's Lakers punished in controversial NBA loss

Canon camera at center of NBA controversy
(Image credit: NBA)

A Canon camera found itself at center of controversy during an NBA game this weekend, as the Los Angeles Lakers were bested by their bitter rivals the Boston Celtics when a game-winning foul call was missed by referees.

After the blunder, volatile Lakers star Patrick Beverley grabbed a Canon EOS R3 from a professional photographer and strode on court to show an official that his colleagues had blown the crucial call. Obviously the audacious move was not appreciated by the referee, who awarded Beverley a technical foul and sent him back to the sidelines. 

• NBA refs clearly need the best cameras for sports photography

With 3.6 seconds to go in the game, and the score tied at 105-105, Lakers legend LeBron James drove from the top of the 3-point line all the way to the hoop for the winning basket, where four Celtics defenders collapsed on him. You can see the play in the tweet below:

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James missed the shot, arguably because he drew contact from the Celtics' Jayson Tatum – whose hand clashed with James' layup arm while contesting the shot. This contact should have sent LeBron to the line for a pair of free throws, giving him the opportunity to win the game.

However, the officials – including one standing baseline, directly in front of the layup attempt – did not call the contact, allowing the game to go into overtime, leading to histrionics from James and disbelief from his LA teammates. 

Beverley's attempt to show the officials their missed call – with the decisive moment no doubt captured thanks to the R3's blistering 30fps burst shooting – resulted in a technical foul and the Celtics with the lead as overtime started, en route to a 125-121 victory. You can see his camera-waving antics below:

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"[Beverley's] actions were inappropriate in addressing resentment to a non-call," Lewis noted in the official's post-game report. He did, however, concede that the officials made a mistake. "At the time, during the game, we did not see a foul… The crew missed the play."

The NBA has faced endless and ongoing criticism of its officiating, not helped in the least by the infamous 2007 betting scandal involving point shaving by disgraced referee Tim Donaghy – which was explored in the brilliant Netflix documentary, Untold: Operation Flagrant Foul

With courtside cameras like the R3, Nikon Z9 and Sony A1 featuring such staggering shooting speeds, at least we can get irrefutable evidence that calls have been missed – knowingly or otherwise.

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.