“I feel bad for the refs on that one; they’ll probably get a write up on that one.” It’s not often you hear NBA players feel bad for refs about a missed call. Even more so if it’s a missed call on them. That’s exactly what happened almost a year ago, and LeBron called it one of the worst things he did in his career.
I can rant about traveling all day. It’s probably the single most annoying thing in today’s NBA. Carrying the ball being a close second. The offense has so many advantages that upholding the most fundamental thing about basketball – dribbling the ball – should be a point of emphasis. Every year, the league has something the refs will focus on, such as flopping or moving on screens, but you’d think that doesn’t mean we stop calling travels. Particularly as egregious as this one.
I know that Monty McCutcheon would probably say the refs need to pay attention to many things, and it’s a hard job to do. But at least one ref has to watch the ball at all times, and the fact they didn’t call this shows how to desensitize refs have become about traveling. You don’t have to be looking for it, but you will instinctively notice something was wrong if you have any feel for the game.
“Probably one of the worst things I’ve ever done in my career. I didn’t even realize I did it until half time, to be honest. My brain just kinda’…I just had a malfunction.”LeBron James, ESPN
This is one of the reasons I’m not too fond of cross-era comparisons. In addition to the fact it’s hard to compare guys that played by different rules, the rules that are supposed to be the same are officiated extremely differently! When they say no-one as big and strong as LeBron should be able to move so fast around the court, I agree. It’s almost as if he’s not pivoting properly, carries the ball on a lot of his dribbles, and walks occasionally.
This isn’t just a LeBron thing. Some guys get away with a lot more (Harden and Giannis come to mind), and almost every team and player could have their own highlight mix. What I hope happens is Monty McCutcheon has his annual Lowe Post appearance and says the refs are going back to the fundamentals. You know, making sure people are dribbling the ball according to the rules.