LeBron James said his travel against the Utah Jazz was the worst one of his life, and folks, he was not wrong. James dribbled the ball past the halfcourt line, then just walked a bit before remembering to dribble it again. That is not how basketball is played. Yet somehow, none of the referees blew their whistle.
During the game, James talked to a fan after realizing how awful the play was. “I didn’t even know I did it until I saw it at halftime,” he said. “That’s the worst I’ve ever done. Yeah, that was f-cked up.”
LeBron to a fan about his no-call travel/double-dribble: “Yeah I know that was bad. That was real bad. I didn’t even know I did it until I saw it at half-time. That’s the worst I’ve ever done. Yeah, that was f-cked up. I feel bad for them though.” pic.twitter.com/YNffJPN1t9— Yoni (@OriginalYoni) December 5, 2019
“I think I was ready to pass the ball,” James said after the game, according to ESPN, “and my brain just kind of just, I had a malfunction. I really had a malfunction ... I feel bad for the refs on that one because they’ll probably get a write-up on that or something.”
James’ travel was hilariously bad, but it’s far from the first time a player’s egregiously messed up and forgot to put the ball on the ground. Here are some of the best travels to not get called by the officials.
Bradley Beal’s gallop
Blake Griffin’s defense psyched out Beal, who, after taking his two steps on a drive to the hoop, took three more steps.
Worst of all, referees after the game stood by the call!
“The offensive player gathers with his right foot on the ground,” the official ref account tweeted. “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.”
The time Dirk Nowitzki played hopscotch
Nowitzki really just kept taking mini bunny hops going backwards. He took seven steps! Seven!
Kemba Walker’s jump-and-spin
Walker’s hop-step was a total mess, and his awkward landing sent him into another spin and a half-step and then ... a layup? The Celtics’ defense had a right to be Mad As Hell.
Kendrick Perkins’ nine-step walk
NINE! 9! (NINE?!)
Perkins kept changing his pivot foot and not a single soul in black-and-white stripes paid attention. They thought this looked fine:
WATCH: Kendrick Perkins' 9-step travel highlights this edition of "Shaqtin' A Fool!"https://t.co/tvDm4hycAP— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 10, 2015
Dwyane Wade’s seven-step travel
Wade dribbled down the court, similar to James, and appeared to do some stretching with the ball over his head while changing his pivot foot over and over again. In basketball, you simply can not do that.
Josh Smith’s 20+-step travel
This is so bad that I have no words.
Corey Brewer’s dunk travel
In comparison to some of his colleagues, Brewer taking six steps before dunking wasn’t all that bad!
James Harden’s double step-back
The best for last. This one is so legendary that it even had a failed reboot. Harden shuffled his feet backwards twice for a walk so obvious that nobody called it.
Months later, Steph Curry did it ... but he got whistled!
They just called a travel on Steph for doing the Harden double stepback. Ha pic.twitter.com/6HGgE55rfZ— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) January 6, 2019
Harden is, to date, our uncalled travel king.
Next time you complain that a specific player “always gets away with travels,” remember: They are not the only ones.