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Refs say Rick Barry is wrong, Ray Allen didn’t travel on critical shot in Game 6 of Finals

Sep 26, 2013, 4:52 PM EDT

Ray Allen‘s shot at the end of regulation to send Game 6 of the Finals into overtime was as clutch as they come, especially considering those now famous yellow ropes in place along the sidelines that were there in preparation for the Spurs’ trophy presentation.

NBA Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry has turned it into a mini-controversy this summer, however, claiming in multiple interviews that Allen traveled before delivering the breathtaking shot.

The NBA’s referees, who are gathered in New Jersey this week for their annual preseason summit, politely disagree with Barry’s assessment.

From Brian Windhorst of

On Thursday the league invited some members of the media to look at some of the work the officials have been doing and discuss some minor rule changes and adjustments. But one thing that came up was Allen’s huge shot. Was it or wasn’t it a travel?

The answer from the best in the world was definitive: No.

Barry and others feel that Allen took three steps, one more than allotted, before shooting the ball. Looking at it frame-by-frame, indeed there is some gray area there. Under league rules, a player is permitted two steps after the “gather.”

Whether you side with Barry or with the officials on the issue depends on when you believe Allen began his so-called gather.

For what it’s worth, Kurt Helin pointed this out in our original post on the subject, and ended up seeing it the same way the referees did.

The NBA rule on traveling was described by the league this way:

A player who receives the ball while moving is allowed a two count rhythm but must release the ball prior to the third step touching the floor.

Does Allen take a third step? Looking at the replay I don’t think so. The NBA allows a “gather” and two steps and Allen is well within that.

The conclusion by those in the officiating profession won’t change Barry’s or anyone else’s opinion, of course. But if nothing else, the assessment of the referees should be weighted more heavily than those on the outside when considering the differing views.

  1. antistratfordian - Sep 26, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    If Rick Barry isn’t ornery he isn’t Rick Barry.

  2. rickyspanish - Sep 26, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Rick Barry is a curmudgeon.

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 26, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      Rick Barry is the MAN! Hall of Famer. One of the best scorers of all time.

      • rickyspanish - Sep 26, 2013 at 7:37 PM

        That doesn’t mean he’s right.

      • asimonetti88 - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:19 PM

        Where did I say he was?

  3. cbking05 - Sep 26, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Rick Barry was a bad ass playa … that’s how he should be remembered

  4. itsonlyaspeedbump - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    To the best of his recollection, Rick Barry has never been “wrong” about anything.


  5. j0esixpack - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Here’s the thing. You can make the case that it was Traveling.

    But 90% of the time – and I’d bet within that game itself – the refs will not call traveling on that.

    So even IF the refs are wrong, they were at least consistent throughout the game, series and season.

    And of course, with Refs, even when they’re wrong, they’re right.

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:20 PM

      You certainly could make the argument! But the Spurs could have won by making their free throws, or they could have won Game 7. But they didn’t! So it’s a moot point, the Heat beat them.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:28 PM

        You cannot possibly in a billion years make that argument.

      • asimonetti88 - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:31 PM

        I disagree but either way it doesn’t matter. This isn’t a baseball style heist of a walkoff homer. The Spurs had every chance to win Game 6 and Game 7, and they couldn’t close the deal either time. Championship teams do not let those kinds of opportunities slip through their hands.

      • j0esixpack - Sep 27, 2013 at 6:13 PM

        Correct! And keeping in mind that as a Celtics fan, while I’m inclined to dislike the Heat, does anyone really feel that the better team did NOT win that series?

        I would have loved to see the Spurs win – but the Heat played better and ARE better. Pure and simple.

        The Heat may now rue the day that the Commissioner nixed the idea of allowing Garnett and Pierce to follow Doc to the Clippers – but for this season they were head and shoulders above the competition, consistently, all season.

        Credit where credit is due.

  6. badintent - Sep 26, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    Slick Rick. Great passer, even better scorer. A coach on the floor and a leader. He took a no name Golden State team and won a championship. Won in the ABA when they had great talent too. And never met a contract he couldn’t break. Smart Rick. Had good agent, better lawyer. Sons pretty good ballers too. The entire family made $ 200 million over 40 years of pro ball. No other family can say that.

  7. 1972wasalongtimeago - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    The only missed call at the end of that game was the technical that should have been called on the Spurs for subbing in Duncan for the inbound after the Allen shot was being reviewed. There was no timeout called. Duncan’s entering the game was illegal. This is a FACT, not opinion.

    The only traveling should have been Ray Allen walking to the line to shoot the Game Winning FT at the end of regulation.

    Nice toupee.

  8. 1972wasalongtimeago - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    But I would like to thank Rick Barry for going on this crusade because all it does is force the media to show the greatest moment in my entire sports-fan life over and over, and in super slo-mo. How freak ing great was that? No matter what, I can’t imagine it will ever be topped.

    Keep going Rick. You got some glue leaking down the side. You look like Morry from Goodfellas.

    • badintent - Sep 27, 2013 at 10:36 PM

      “I’m a snouch. LIke everyone else.”

  9. bbngr8 - Sep 27, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    Still gives me chills watching him make that shot. Crazy!!! I’m not a Heat fan, but he didn’t travel. Even of that first little slide with his foot is considered a a step, they’ll never call a slide and 2 steps as a travel, especially that fast. So, every team has been given the benefit of the doubt so the Heat was no different. Simply put, it was just in the cards for the Spurs and Heat.

  10. unclerico14 - Sep 27, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Not sure how the Tony Parker game winning bank shot wasn’t considered a travel. Spins around on his left pivot foot, steps into the shot with his right leg, left foot leaves the floor before he releases the basketball. Travel…

  11. panchopolarbear - Sep 27, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Not a travel.

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