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League admits LeBron did travel in final seconds Wednesday

Jan 12, 2012, 5:43 PM EDT

Miami Heat's LeBron James holds his head during their loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in their NBA game in Los Angeles Reuters

With Miami down one to the Clippers 86-85 and a chance to win the game with just nine seconds left, LeBron James started a drive at the top of the key, got into the lane, drew three defenders, pivoted, shot and was fouled. He hit one free throw, tied the game and it was off to overtime.

Except the referees missed the call — LeBron traveled before he was fouled. Our own Rob Mahoney pointed it out first at Hardwood Paroxysm.

This was the play after Dwyane Wade made a fantastic save of a ball going out of bounds, throwing it off D’Andre Jordan. The Heat threw the ball into Wade with 14 seconds and he dribbled to the wing then threw the ball to LeBron at the top of the key, who drove aggressively into the lane.

He tried to do what Dwyane Wade had done earlier this season — something Mahoney and many others (myself included) had thought at the time was traveling, but the league announced that he did not. Wade completed a jump stop then made a pivot off of that, something the league said was legal.

Mahoney explains where James went wrong Wednesday.

However, there are two flaws in James’ execution. The first: he attempt to execute a jump stop but does not land both of his feet on the floor simultaneously, a necessary requirement of the rule….

The second: following his jump stop, LeBron reverse pivots using his left foot as his base, but slides his foot over from the white boundary line into the painted area itself.

The league has a twitter account (@NBAOfficial) to deal with these questions and tweeted this out Thursday.

Yes, LeBron should’ve been called for traveling on this play last night.

In the end, as Rasheed Wallace said, “ball don’t lie.” James only made one of two free throws, sending the game into overtime, where the Clippers won. Karma.

You can add this to the list of LeBron’s end-of-game mistakes on Wednesday.

  1. mlblogsbig3bosox - Jan 12, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    The Chokin’ One did it again.

    • liltmac2003 - Jan 12, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      I don’t know when the coaching staff in Miami will just give it to Wade for that last second shot. It really makes no sense why they still hand the ball of to LeBron.

      – On an injured foot, Wade hit back-to-back game winners
      – LeBron has a record of NOT being clutch
      – It didn’t work in Cleveland, didn’t work in Miami last season, and is NOT working now
      – Bosh even voiced his opinion and said Wade should take the last second shot

      What more do you need? It’s like during timeout when Miami is down, this is how the huddle goes…

      Coach: Aight, we’re down by 2 guys.
      LeBron: *biting fingernails*
      Coach: Dwayne, you’ve proven to be clutch and they renamed a country after you, but LeBron is going to take the final shot. He’s proven that he chokes but we MUST give him another attempt.
      Wade: Whatever is best for the team…even though I hit a bunch of game winners and just made a great play to keep the ball with us by jumping off my injured foot, hitting the ball of a Clipper, etc.
      Coach: I know, but LeBron has to take it three things are certain: Death, Taxes, and LeBron choking.
      Bosh: Screw this, I’m going back to Jurassic Park.

  2. akmia78 - Jan 12, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    There were plenty of other big missed calls in this game: Billup’s phantom foul call on a Wade layup attempt, DeAndre goaltending non-call on a Bosh attempt, etc. The ref’s don’t make the right call 100% of the time but we live it. No story here, move along.

    • davidly - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      There are plenty of other comments declaring the irrelevance of that which is being commented upon.

  3. narrabeen23 - Jan 12, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    So you’re telling me Spoelstra would have been ejected before overtime if this was called?

  4. tomshoe - Jan 12, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    This just in: The sky is blue, smoking is bad for you, and Kobe shoots a lot.

  5. karlton2 - Jan 12, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Maybe it was a crab dribble…


  6. sd1024 - Jan 12, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    you can add this to the list of travels/fouls/charges he gets away with on a nightly basis.

  7. r0llinginthedeep - Jan 12, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    He travels all the time.

    This is not news.

  8. blitzkriegjack - Jan 12, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Doesn’t he always travel

  9. bleed4philly - Jan 12, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    League’s gotta protect it’s stars. That’s why the NBA is still a joke.

  10. goforthanddie - Jan 12, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with the state of referee-ing in the NBA.

  11. stevenfbrackett - Jan 12, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Obvious traveling is ignored so often it is somewhat of a shock when it is actually called.

  12. pavelfitzgerald - Jan 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    This horrawful even by NBA standards

  13. dirtybird2020 - Jan 12, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Lebron should be beheaded! Off with his head! Problem solved, no more traveling!

  14. jackntorres - Jan 12, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Wasn’t his first travel uncalled, and it won’t be his last.

  15. crafttractor1234 - Jan 12, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    LeDouche choked another one away, even while being helped by the officials.

  16. davidly - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Traveling is the holding of the NBA: it happens every time the ball is in play and the players are moving; the refs can choose to ignore it until they feel the need to use it as a makeup call or to change the momentum of the game.

  17. southbeachtalent - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    So now there will be a story everytime there is a no call or a bad call? Reaching Kurt, I know you try to keep LeBron in the news as much as possible but it’s becoming obvious you are fishing for replies..

    You writers have a “reply” quota?

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