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LeBron James whistled for traveling, says his 'crab dribble' is perfectly legal under James Naismith's rules

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lebrontravel.jpgOne of the biggest beefs with the NBA is that the superstars are afforded the luxury of getting all the calls, especially in crunch time. Seriously, go back and watch some film of the 2006 NBA Finals and Dwyane Wade. It's pretty amazing stuff.

Going back to Michael Jordan, the premier players have been able to take 2, 3 and sometimes 4 steps as they slash through the lane and add to their point totals. An acquaintance of mine claimed he watched a Los Angeles Lakers-Houston Rockets game and counted 68 travels between Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady.

While that may be an exaggeration, there is no question that a traveling call against a bonafide NBA superstar is rare. A call during crunch time rarer still.

All this makes what happened in Washington during the Wizards-Cavaliers game very compelling.

Watch for yourself as LeBron James gets whistled for taking too many steps as he drives in for the bucket.

As you may expect, James was none too pleased with the call, going so far as to say his signature "crab dribble" is legal under James Naismith's rules.

""You have your trademark play, and that's one of my plays. It kind of looks like a travel because it's slow, and it's kind of a high-step, but it's a one-two just as fluent as any other one-two in this league. I got the wrong end of it, but I think they need to look at it -- and they need to understand that's not a travel," James said. "It's a perfectly legal play, something I've always done."
I'm not mathematologist, but to the untrained eye LeBron seems to be taking three enormous steps after picking up his dribble. And maybe I'm alone, but it's wildy refreshing to see the rules of basketball applied.

You'd have a point if you said that he's gotten away with traveling so much in the past that it's almost unfair to blow the whistle when the game hangs in the balance.

So ...  was it travel? Should it have been called one? And would you like to see the NBA apply more stringent traveling rules in the future or do you like those high-flying dunks too much to see them go?

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Anyone who can count to three knows it was a travel.

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on January 5, 2009 12:31 AM.

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