Paul George should be thanking his lucky stars after that one.
Paul George is easily one of the best players in the NBA when he is at the top of his game. The Los Angeles Clippers have been thriving with him in their lineup and as the playoffs approach, it’s clear the team is a contender to win it all. Having said that, players like George are able to get away with a lot. When you’re a star, the officials give you the benefit of the doubt, especially if you’ve been kind to the referees over the years. On Monday night, that’s exactly what happened to George as he got away with an absolutely egregious non-call.
In the clip below, George can be seen with a ton of space in front of him. When he gets the ball, he takes an obscene amount of steps before going with a dunk. If you watch closely, it’s clear he took way more steps than you’re allowed to. Regardless, the referee let it slide and George went on his way.
Traveling is rarely called in the NBA these days so this latest non-call shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Despite this, when a player takes over five steps on their way to the basket, they need to be held accountable in some way.
Some of you in the comments may try to argue that this was a “gather step” and that he still has plenty more steps he could have taken. While “gather steps” do exist, there is no denying the egregiousness of this particular play.