NBA legend Rick Barry told 640 Sports in Miami that Ray Allen traveled on his miraculous Game 6 three-pointer against San Antonio in the NBA Finals. During that game, the Spurs had it wrapped up before crumbling down the stretch (remember all those Miami fans leaving?). Still, all they needed was one rebound and couldn’t get it. Down three, the Heat got an extra chance and Jesus capitalized. That sent the game into overtime, where the Heat forced a Game 7.
Barry had this to say on the radio show:
“Everybody will probably hate me for saying this down there in Miami, but the bottom line of it is nobody made a big deal about the fact Ray Allen traveled on the shot he made to tie the game,” Barry said. “Ray did it so quickly, but he traveled. He had a pivot foot and he stepped back behind the line and he brought the foot that was his pivot foot back and took the shot, well I’m sorry but you can’t do that without dribbling the basketball.
“But anyway the San Antonio Spurs gave them every opportunity and they responded, talking about the Heat, and they were able to come away with the championship so credit to them for that.”
As ProBasketballTalk points out, the NBA ruling in this situation states that “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.” Did Allen take a third step? It’s very close, and probably depends how you view that initial bounce he takes after catching the rock (the best angle is from above the basket).
Casual fans love to argue the NBA never calls traveling, normally pointing out players taking too many steps on rim drives. I actually feel this is the most widespread travel that’s never called: players catching the ball and traveling before dribbling/shooting. How many times a game do you see a player catch the ball and lift his pivot foot before putting the rock on the floor? Or shuffle his feet before shooting? It’s almost never called and happens a minimum of 15 to 20 times a game, even when players are simply bringing it up the floor. Because it’s never noted, it would’ve been stupid to determine the NBA Finals with a call like this.
Do you think Jesus should’ve been called for a travel?
Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.