NBA refs will call traveling now … or so they say
An Associated Press story in today’s sports section (for the record, B-7) is certain to bring a smile to the face of any NBA fan – or any NBA critic.
The subject is traveling violations. Specifically, it is a vow from the league that officials will be diligent this season in actually acknowledging the rule and greeting each violation with a loud whistle.
One man’s estimate: This will last for about one half of each season opener.
It’s tough to pinpoint exactly when NBA refs stopped making traveling calls. My foggy memory has it about the time that Michael Jordan began picking up the ball at halfcourt and gliding in for another insanely graceful, thunderous dunk.
Cutting Jordan some slack at least served some purpose. There were few nights when the Bulls played that Jordan didn’t appear somewhere in the Top 10 plays.
When they began letting large, lumbering rebounders switch pivot feet three times between the foul line and the hoop, it reached a point of absurdity.
Maybe they really will call traveling this season. Maybe that will even seep down to the big-time college game, which has looked more and more like an NBA minor league for years.
Just don’t bet the house on it.
TIME TRAVEL: Oct. 6, 1959 – “A Nashua native, Edmund Styrna, has found a new home at a university that used to be one of his toughest rivals. Styrna, who was born and brought up in Nashua, is enjoying great success as head coach of track and cross country at the University of Maine.
“A few years ago, as a standout trackman for the U. of New Hampshire, Styrna and his teammates used to look forward to meets with always strong Maine.”
THIS DOESN’T ADD UP: Understandably, a few folks were a bit mystified when Red Sox owner John Henry publicly stated his desire for his payroll to come in under the luxury tax figure of $208 million, then heard club president Sam Kennedy express his belief that they could keep both J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts for the long term.
Since the two of them are likely to collect a combined figure that would dwarf the Tampa Bay Rays’ entire tab, they’ll have to find an accounting magician to pull that off.
Martinez has the option to opt out of his Red Sox contract next month. The price tag for Betts’ services will be hefty. They do unload a considerable amount of payroll, led by the $18 million per season they have been paying to Pablo Sandoval for five years. But it will take much more than that.
How about starting an office pool as to just how much ticket prices will rise this winter.
Contact Alan Greenwood at 594-1248, firstname.lastname@example.org or @Telegraph_AlanG.com.