By now you’ve read how @NBAOfficial confirmed what was apparent from the moment LeBron James went in six different directions (with six different steps) after giving up his dribble late in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s overtime loss to the Clippers:
That he traveled before he received a bailout foul call, one that enabled him to hit one of two foul shots and force the game to the extra period.
The outcry was immediate and widespread. And accurate.
It was an unavoidable controversy for the NBA. So the league quickly quieted it by posting, “Yes, LeBron should’ve been called for traveling on this play last night.”
Uh, not quite.
Go ahead, click on @NBAOfficial on Twitter and you’ll notice exactly two posts (as of this posting) through the first three weeks of the NBA season.
The first came in reference to a jump stop by the Heat’s Dwyane Wade on a game-winning shot in Charlotte. The post: “Was Wade’s game winner legal? Yes.”
The account’s second post showed up midday Thursday.
So, apparently, either there have been only two questionable calls this season, or @NBAOfficial is the league’s official watchdog of the Miami Heat.
Here’s the point: Of course Heat games are going to draw a higher degree of scrutiny. They draw a higher degree of interest.
But how can a league scrutinize only what the media, the blogosphere and passionate fans demand be addressed?
If you’re going to reassess calls after the fact, which actually is a darned good idea, then assess ’em all, or at least the ones that require a second look.
But a league can’t create a Twitter account that, apparently, has a sole function of addressing the sole issue of:
Did you see what the Miami Heat got away with last night?!
Sure LeBron walked. He seemed to have three pivot feet on the play, if that is even anatomically possible.
But there also was an issue with James’ late foul on Chauncey Billups while Billups was attempting a 3-pointer.
And question of whether a DeAndre Jordan block should have been a goaltend.
For years, the notion in the NBA has been that superstars are officiated differently. Yet speak privately to referees and they’ll tell you that the remarkable athleticism of those stars often can make what looks like a foul or violation actually into a clean play.
LeBron’s fancy footwork did a number on the officials Wednesday.
The league cleaned that up rather quickly Thursday.
But what about every other questionable call around the league Wednesday?
Where are those addressed?
Or does there have to be an @NBAOfficialForTheRestOfTheLeague?