“It called itself.”
-Bill Spooner, NBA Referee
I never thought I’d dislike LeBron James more than Kobe Bryant, boy have times changed. I don’t even mind Kobe that much anymore….I’ll never be a fan of his, but that story is for another time.
This LeBron James, he’s quite the character. At first it was his crying that got under my skin like a parasite. Sure Michael Jordan bitched and argued about calls, but never to the extent of LeBaby with his mouth holding, knee crawling, elementary school playground politicking ways.
Now it’s James’ sense of entitlement that irks me to no end. He conducts himself like the game owes him and not the other way around.
The travel call at the end of Sunday’s game has already been talked up to the level of epic lore in the saga that is the rivalry between these two NBA franchises from Cleveland and Washington, DC (and yes it is a rivalry despite Cleveland’s playoff domination — in my opinion, wins and losses don’t make a rivalry, rather it’s the spirit, intensity, and nature of the competition….granted that two teams are not already a geographic rivalry).
But afterward, there was no slices of humble pie from LeBron. No, “both teams played hard.” No, “the call could have gone either way.”
No, in LeBron’s mind, he is right and everyone else is wrong….despite the evidence. Because it’s “his” move, and no one else does it….what arrogance.
Speaking of the evidence….
First of all, this “crab dribble” — what LeBron did isn’t even close to what I’ve come to know as a crab dribble, but I’m not going to get into the semantics of technical basketball terms, as they can vary from coach to coach, venue to venue.
I get what LeBron was trying to do: a step and then a jump stop….which is a perfectly legal move. The problem is that what LeBron did was illegal. All the refs I’ve come across in my relationship with basketball will tell you that in order to successfully pull off the jump stop maneuver after an initial step, you must land both feet at the same time. If you don’t, it’s like taking an extra step…wait, it IS taking an extra step.
It’s such a bang-bang play, but still easy to tell whether two feet land at the same time or not…..nevertheless, I still have a frustratingly hard time explaining the violation to those on a pickup court. I expect much better from NBA refs. At least this time, justice prevailed.
Since my screen capture device is out of order, I must rely on a low-tech digital camera TV still of the step-by-step (pun intended) — you get the picture nonetheless:
(side note: step 1 below is the first one LeBron took, after picking up the ball, with what was previously his pivot foot)
Dude’s fakin’ – I rest my case.
- So you’re saying there is justice in this world? [Bullets Forever]
- LeBron James, You Complete Us [Stet Sports]
- LeBron, DeShawn, and the Travel [DC Sports Bog]
- LeBron’s Travel: The Video [DC Sports Bog]
- Another Term for ‘Travel’ [Wizards Insider]
- Three-step program [Washington Times]
- Good Officiation? [Both Teams Played Hard]
- Tom Knott: Some backbone arrives just in the nick of time [Washington Times]