NBA Changes: Traveling + Refs = ?

This might sound a little odd when you first hear about it, as it did to me. The NBA, is changing the traveling rule? When I first heard about this, I didn’t know what to think. Were they really going to let players “travel”?

But then I read into the rule, and by them simply adding one extra step, it simply means the NBA is making legal what nearly every player already does.

Whether it’s Kobe Bryant getting to the hole, or Dwayne Wade pounding through people to get a lay up, somewhere in that footwork, it’s a travel. When Ron Artest sets up for a jumpshot, he takes two steps before he shoots on a spot up. So do a lot of players, and technically, based on the NBA’s previous rule of one step, yeah they were traveling.


Shoot, sometimes it looks like Lebron, Deron Williams and other guards take three steps. I remember one play last year, where Lebron was on a fast break dunk, and to wind up for his dunk, he took four steps after he picked up his dribble, and then threw it down. No traveling was called.

There has always been chatter that the NBA had become lenient on traveling calls because it would speed the game up and more points would be scored (because, clearly, you need to take a few more steps to actually score sometimes). Whether this is true or not, and I don’t believe it is, the NBA isn’t making a historical change to its rulebook; they are simply just making official what was already official…unofficially.

But there is another thought here. Which could prove to be much more important.

I can confidently say that we’re already in agreement that the NBA officiating has been absolutely terrible the past few seasons. I’m a Laker fan and we won the whole ‘ship last year, and I’ll still tell you that the NBA officiating is terrible and there are so many calls that should have been called in every series against us, but no whistle was ever blown. And then these guys come into the new season and want more money…Ridiculous.

So we’re done with Dick Bavetta, Steve Javie and company for now, and we have these temporary refs, who never became NBA refs because they were never good enough in the first place. What is wrong with this picture?

In all the pre-season games I’ve seen so far this season, one thing is evident. They are going to let them play this year. I’ve seen Andrew Bynum swipe down at somebody’s face and not get called for a foul and then I’ve seen Monta Ellis fly to the hole and get hit in the head (twice) but no foul call.

In the Clipper games, I have  Blake Griffin swat two layups off the backboard, after the ball had already bounced off the backboard (which by NBA Rules, should be goal tending), but the game went on. And what’s even more peculiar to me is that players aren’t in shock with the no calls.  So there’s already been a preface put somewhere that the NBA officiating is going to be terrible this year.

True, it is just pre-season, so players are a little relaxed, as are the refs. But this just looks bad. So did the NBA change the traveling rule so these temporary refs wouldn’t have to make as many calls? Not to mention, more video-playback available to the officials, so they don’t have to their job all the time…

With all the hype around stacked teams this year, I’m afraid these odd back stories will taint what could be, a beautiful season.

5 thoughts on “NBA Changes: Traveling + Refs = ?

  • i'm not really sure why u think they are letting them play, since the number of fouls called this preseason is up some astronomical number like 30% from the average over the last 5 preseasons.

  • Number of fouls being called, yes. But time and time again, you still see dudes go into the lane and don't get the foul call, even when they are getting hit hard.

    The foul count is up by a lot because it's clear, these refs are on tight watch, so they are going to call all the little things, and make a number of make up calls. Either way, it's not a good thing.

  • I'd really like to see the NBA do away with the charged-offensive foul. I think it's dumb to let someone stand up (like a pile of shit) and draw a charge from someone going to dunk or whatever. It's dumb

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