In Its Current Form, NBA = Not Basketball Actually

So last night I’m watching Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Phoenix Suns (rising) and the Milwaukee Bucks (buckling) and thinking, what the hell has happened to professional basketball because it sure doesn’t look like the game I loved – geezer moment here – when I wandered the old Boston Garden in the Larry Bird era,

I’ll leave it to wiser heads to debate the impact of three-point-mania on the game. My beef is simpler: traveling violations are officially a thing of the past in the NBA.

The Euro-Step? More like a Eurail Pass – you can travel as far as you want at no additional cost.

Representative NBA-endorsed samples:


Many moons ago, when I played a lot of pickup ball around town, I found myself in a game on the outdoor courts at Brookline High with former Boston Celtic Gerald Henderson, who memorably stole the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the 1984 NBA Finals.


In our playground game, however, Henderson was not quite as adept. On a breakaway that would have won the game, he took four steps before dropping in a layup and I called out “suitcase” – the playground designation for traveling.

Henderson, of course, was incensed, but the other players backed me up. Henderson’s team wound up winning the game anyway, but I’ve always thought the greater victory was mine.

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2 Responses to In Its Current Form, NBA = Not Basketball Actually

  1. Bob Gardner says:

    When I was a kid, everyone complained about NBA players traveling all the time. so some traditions survive.

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