1/14/10 Cavs vs. Jazz........
See Lebron's 3-pointer (1:14 game time). He takes one big step back, then brings the other foot back to square up and shoot. No call.
Looks to me like this is a mistake refs often make. I’ve seen Ray make this same move several times (never called). (I remember Scal doing it too, and Dirk, and a bunch of other guys.) The refs don’t call that a travel, presumably because that 2nd step is not a “real step”... i.e., it’s not moving the player in any direction, the player is just squaring up.
Now this year’s new rule about traveling states: “A player who receives the ball while he is progressing or upon completion of a dribble, may take two steps in coming to a stop, passing or shooting the ball.”
The guys who are stepping back, like Lebron last night, cannot be construed as “progressing” or “completing a dribble”. And that 2nd step is, of course, a real step... the fact that he’s not moving in a specific direction is, of course, irrelevant. It’s TWO STEPS, and it does not fit into this year’s new exception. So it IS a travel, no question about it.
But Lebron is not the only one to get away with it. In fact, I have never seen that move whistled. Looks like this is a league-wide mistake that all (or most) refs are making. Or maybe it's so brazen - taking two steps in open court right in front of the refs and the whole universe - it can't be a travel ! Most likely, it's just another indication that refs are not just often biased or carrying an agenda. They're simply incompetent, too.