The NBA has a lot of ambiguity around what a travel is and isn't. At its most basic level, players are allowed to let their momentum carry them two steps before they have to decide if they're going to shoot, pass or pivot. However, there are all sorts of nuances that allow players extra steps, such as gather rules, ambiguous okie-doke steps and -- of course -- superstar calls.
Just a heads up to you aspiring hoopers out there: If you pump fake after three steps and then take another step after fumbling the fake, you're not likely to get away with this. The best part is that the result of the play was a foul called on... The Pistons' Luke Kennard. Perfect.
This is going to be a shock, but Beal doesn't see what he did wrong.
Plenty of folks clowned Beal for what looked like a clear business decision.
Miraculously, the NBA officials' Twitter account defended the no-call, saying that Beal... "gathers?" Then "loses control of the ball?" Before regaining his pivot foot to make a pass... Even though he took a step after regaining possession.
The offensive player gathers with his right foot on the ground. 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. https://t.co/0hVqgHw3w7— NBA Referees (@OfficialNBARefs) February 12, 2019
There is a basketball adage, which states that just because something looks wrong doesn't make it illegal. That doesn't apply here. This is generously four steps, and you can easily make a case for five. Whatever it was, it definitely wasn't allowed. And fans aren't buying what these officials are selling.
He also didn't lose control of the ball. So, basically just bobble the ball and you can take as many steps as you need to?— the raven (@billytall) February 12, 2019
You all would have looked a lot better just admitting they missed another call instead of looking foolish saying that’s not a travel— Jordan Johnston (@JLJohnston1237) February 12, 2019
So he takes "two steps" and loses the ball... on his own.— Mark M (@iwasmmueller88) February 12, 2019
Then gets the ball back, without it being touched, and takes two more steps?
So all a player has to do is drop the ball, and then pick it up again, and he can take two more steps.
A lot of people also kind of made the same traveling joke, but it had to be made.
There's really no reason to get mad at Beal, but you have to mad at someone over this. The fumble and the foul call is really the icing on the cake. At least he seems to have a sense of humor about it. NBA officials, meanwhile, continue to inexplicably defend terrible calls made in-game. The game happens fast and calls get missed, yet this is the stance being taken.
The Pistons got the last laugh with a 121-112 win, but Dwane Casey is probably wondering why in the world he can't even get these calls at home.