Refs walk back Beal travel talk, say play legal

Video of Bradley Beal getting away with what looked like an egregious travel was receiving a lot of mileage on social media Tuesday. Now, the referees are pumping the brakes, saying the play was legal.

.@RealDealBeal23 MIGHT have gotten away with a travel here 😂

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 12, 2019

During the Wizards‘ game Monday against the Pistons, Beal picked up his dribble near the free throw line and took what looked like three steps. He then bobbled the ball under the basket and took a couple more before passing. No call was made.

After the game, Beal appeared to poke fun at himself by tweeting “look clean to me” with some laughing emojis.

After the clip made the rounds Tuesday morning, the National Basketball Referees Association tweeted a response.

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.

— NBA Referees (@OfficialNBARefs) February 12, 2019

Beal got a kick out of that too.


— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) February 12, 2019

The refs appear to have gathered that their explanation wasn’t really calming the furor, so they doubled down.

Fumble = legal, and no travel. No fumble = travel. It’s understandable for people to think that the offensive player doesn’t lose control, and therefore travels. But the officials on the floor deemed it a fumble, and therefore legal. This is what makes this job so difficult.

— NBA Referees (@OfficialNBARefs) February 12, 2019

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