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Did Dwyane Wade travel on his game winner?

Dec 29, 2011, 6:00 PM EDT

UPDATE (6:54 PM EST): We may have jumped the gun a bit. Or jump stopped the gun a bit? Too much? Okay.

After receiving clarification on jump stop rules from the league office, it’s now clear the Wade did not travel on his game-winning bucket against the Charlotte Bobcats. For clarification, Tim Frank, who spoke on behalf of the league, offered the following explanation:

“Wade gathers the ball with his right foot on the floor, and step one is when both feet touch the floor simultaneously. He then steps with his right foot for step two.”

The relevant section of the NBA Rulebook’s traveling explanation reads as follows:

A player who comes to a stop on step one when both feet are on the floor or touch the floor simultaneously may pivot using either foot as his pivot. If he jumps with both feet he must release the ball before either foot touches the floor.

And the video demonstration of the rule in slow-motion has been updated at Hardwood Paroxysm. Head that way to watch Wade’s move step by step.

Had Wade’s gather been determined to occur prior to the step of his right foot, it would have been a travel, as outlined in the description below. But because Wade’s first step was actually a “gather step,” his jump stop acts as a first step, allowing him to pivot without a traveling violation. The determination of the gather/first step is key in this case, as under this different facet of the traveling rule, Wade’s move is only allowed because his gather occurred while his right foot was planted.

Additionally, the NBA has created a new Twitter account — @NBAOfficials — to clarify similar rulings in the future. Kudos to the league if this actually becomes a useful tool of transparency.

-Rob Mahoney

10:28 AM EST: It doesn’t look like much when it happens in real time, at full speed.

But Dwyane Wade traveled on his game winning bank shot that lifted the Miami Heat over the Charlotte Bobcats. He made a jump stop and when you do that neither foot can take another step. Wade did then shot.

Here’s the rule straight out of the rule book.

A progressing player who jumps off one foot on the first step may land with both feet simultaneously for the second step. In this situation, the player may not pivot with either foot and if one or both feet leave the floor the ball must be released before either returns to the floor.

Now watch the video again.

Our own Rob Mahoney caught it and wrote about it over at Hardwood Paroxysm.

Post-jump stop pivot moves are about as easy as travel calls get; while drives through traffic or quick spin moves often require slow motion to fully assess without a reasonable doubt, the jump stop is a clear and distinct action easily differentiated from any illegal steps that follow. Even at full speed, we’re able to see Wade execute a nice jump stop, but negate his move with what should have been a turnover.

It wasn’t. The officiating crew flat-out missed this game-changing call, which should come as little surprise to those who regularly eye the footwork of ball handlers in the waning moments of any close game. Most officials do their best to avoid interventionism at such a crucial juncture, and thus whistles of virtually any kind become a bit harder to come by. Such was the case here, and Wade capitalized by completing the possession with a bucket.

Bobcats fans, we’re sorry. No way this gets overturned. Same way Gerald Henderson‘s illegal block with his head of LeBron James‘ dunk will not be called back. Not a great night for the refs in Charlotte.

  1. thetooloftools - Dec 30, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Don’t forget the golden rule. He who makes the most gold, never gets traveling called on him :o

  2. basedrum777 - Jan 5, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Of course he travelled its the F’n NBA. Its no better than streetball, “OH BABY! OH BABY!”.

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