NBA referees admit that James Harden got away with a travel

NBA officials did the unthinkable on Tuesday.

They acknowledged that James Harden traveled. And they admitted that they missed it.


Key call in Rockets win over Jazz

The infraction in question occurred late during the Houston Rockets’ 102-97 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday.

With less than a minute remaining, Harden pulled off a variation of his signature step-back move that saw him take well over his allotment of steps after picking up his dribble.

Not only did NBA officials admit the James Harden traveled, but they admitted that Harden duped them. (Getty)
Not only did NBA officials admit the James Harden traveled, but they admitted that Harden duped them. (Getty)

Whistle for Rubio, not for Harden

He pulled up for a 3-pointer and drew a whistle after Jazz guard Ricky Rubio hit him on the elbow. The call, of course, was on Rubio. The blatant traveling violation prior to the shot was ignored.

Harden proceeded to hit 2-of-3 free throws to extend the Rockets lead to 99-94. Had the correct call been made, the Jazz would have been awarded the ball trailing 97-94 with a little less than a minute remaining in the game, which presents an entirely different end-of-game scenario.

Refs blasted for call

The call drew plenty of criticism on Twitter, including from Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala, who directly challenged officials to respond.

Officials admit their mistake

Respond, the officials did. And, stunningly, they owned up to it.

The NBA referees Twitter account, which has been used in the past not only to defend some of the indefensible Harden-related calls but to criticize those who criticize them for those calls, owned up to getting this one wrong.

Surprising response from referees’ Twitter account

Kudos, NBA referees. It’s OK to admit when you’re wrong. It’s even better to get things right the first time.

It’s a much more reasonable response than seen here, when whomever was running the account was mad that TNT analyst Chris Webber called officials out for being duped by Harden when he initiated contact with Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma and fell to the floor last week.

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