NBA officials have a hard job, and they usually do a pretty good job. They’ve got to keep an eye on 10 players and make tough decisions instantaneously. While they usually make the right call, calls for travelling have been lenient over the last few years to say the least.
As the league gets faster and focuses on big flashy plays, the refs have quit calling travelling as often. They don’t want to interrupt a potential highlight reel play just because a player took three steps when he should have taken two. But sometimes they get so lenient that you can’t help but scratch your head and feel for the other team’s defense.
That was the case Sunday night when the Timberwolves took on the Lakers. Andrew Wiggins had a career game, breaking his personal scoring record with 47 points. He was on a roll and the officials didn’t want to stop it. Even when he had a blatant six step travel, there was no call.
Ok this travel was just crazy pic.twitter.com/GT17iduQ46
— InTheLab (@TEN000HOURS) November 14, 2016
He took six steps and the refs didn’t bat an eye. This isn’t the first time it’s happened this year, but this was certainly one of the more egregious violations.
If the NBA wants to allow these things, they should make a rule change. You can’t argue that plays like this are exciting to watch, and if the league wants to keep them to get fans excited, they should. But having a rule that is sometimes enforced and sometimes not is a can of worms for unfair officiating. If superstars can get away with travel, but bench guys get called for it, you have an unfair double standard that shouldn’t exist in a professional sport. It’s time the league either cracks down on these kinds of plays, or finds some kind of amendment to the travelling rule to allow them.