Ah, and you thought NFL refs were an utter disgrace. Well they are, and now they have company.
Bradley Beal somehow got away with a travel not even a four-year old would dare commit, during a whacky stretch in Monday night’s bout between the Wizards and Pistons.
Beal took not one, not two, not three, not four, but about five or so steps while driving toward the basket before awkwardly losing his footing and chucking the ball to the top of the key. Even more comical, the Pistons’ Luke Kennard was the only one punished on the play after the embarrassing officiating team deemed he pushed Trevor Ariza out of bounds — as Ariza tried to corral the errant Beal pass.
So, um, where were those same refs when Beal scampered on the floor like James Harden? (Aside from doing their best Bill Vinovich impression.)
“Is there a travel here? Is there a travel here? Is there a travel here? Heck yeah, there’s a travel here,” scoffed a Pistons’ commentator on-air while watching the replay.
Well, not according to the official NBA referee twitter account, which in its own words, serves the purpose of “encouraging communication, dialogue and transparency with NBA fans.”
The account, in response to the highlight that quickly went viral, mused: “The offensive player gathers with his right foot on the ground. He then takes two legal steps, before losing control of the ball. After regaining possession, a player is allowed to regain his pivot foot and pass or shoot prior to that foot returning to the ground. This is legal.”
Translated: Feel free to take however many steps you want, so long as you give off the notion you bobbled the ball.
As is the case with the NFL, NBA rules are as cryptic as computer code to a toddler.
The official rule regarding traveling officially reads: “A player who receives the ball while he is progressing or upon completion of a dribble, may take two steps in coming to a stop, passing or shooting the ball.”
Subjective enough, yet, even Trump and Nancy Pelosi would agree that this was, in fact, a travel.
Heck, even Beal admitted it with a sarcastic social media jab.
“Looks clean to me,” he wrote on Twitter… alongside two laughing-face emojis and one of a man shrugging.
At least it didn’t cost the Pistons in the end, who won 121-112. Saints players, meanwhile, are still shaking their heads.