LeBron picked the ball up, took a few steps, then started dribbling again like nothing happened
Over the course of a long season, it can sometimes take teams a few minutes to get into the flow of the game. As the matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz on Wednesday night showed us, that apparently applies to the referees as well.
A little over two minutes into the game, LeBron James brought the ball up the floor for the Lakers, as he does countless times per game. This time, after crossing midcourt, he took a few seconds to survey the defense, and then just forgot to keep dribbling. That sounds somewhat ridiculous for any player, but especially one of LeBron’s caliber. However, there’s really no other explanation for what happened.
Just watch. He picks up the ball, casually strolls for a few more steps, then starts dribbling again as if nothing happened. Meanwhile, Bojan Bogdanovic is screaming and pointing at the referee to blow the whistle for the very obvious travel (and double-dribble), but gets met with silence.
To be fair to the referee, it does appear like his head was pointed in the other direction as LeBron pauses his dribble, which would explain why he missed the violation. When Bogdanovic screams, you can see him snap his head back to LeBron, who at that point was about to dribble again.
It’s a bit understandable that he looked away, as you wouldn’t expect anything to happen when a superstar is dribbling by himself near midcourt. And to be honest it’s not like LeBron got some big advantage in that situation. Bogdanovic wasn’t pressuring him, and when he starts dribbling again he’s still 30-plus feet from the basket.
Obviously, he should have been called for traveling, but it’s still a hilarious moment. And the fact that it was LeBron, of all people, only makes it funnier. Not only did we get to see one of the best basketball players of all time look like a clueless third grader for a few seconds, but the missed call will only fuel the conspiracy theories that the league is biased towards LeBron and the Lakers.
All in all, it’s just a perfect moment for the current era of the NBA.
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