Did Kobe travel off the backboard?

First props to Kobe for the two most amazing back-to-back, end-of-game/OT shots EVER.

I would have bet everything against him making those 2 shots back to back with no one guarding himunbelievable! Hello Sacramento. Just when I was getting ready for my Jack Nicholson conversation (Jack sits right next to the visiting team bench and is always an adventure).

Instead I get to visit my boys Joe and Gavin. Great, great guys, and we always want to play each otherjust not in the first round. Its a tough business, not everyone goes home a winner.

I digress. Back to Kobe’s pass off the backboard. Many commented and emailed about how it was legal because it did hit the backboard. Wrong answer.

The correct answer, confirmed by Stu Jackson today, is that it should have been a travel because it was not a shot. No attempt was made to actually make a basket. Since it was not a field goal attempt, it was a pass, and you cant pass to yourself off the backboard.

39 thoughts on “Did Kobe travel off the backboard?

  1. On offense, don’t put Dirk to far down low. He’ll have no problems beating the Kings big men off the dribble if they’re in man. Best of luck.

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  2. Anyway, I thought the league just sent faxes apologizing for bad calls. I didn’t know the are now selectively going back and updating stat sheets.

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  3. I cannot they suspended Stackhouse. This is totally uncalled for and such a disgrace to the league, team fans, everyone…The refs did not see this as even a flagrant 2, and Shaq has nailed several of our players in the face, including Stackhouse.

    Why punish a whole team, city, and all of the fans for one man’s controversial mistake. He was only trying to motivate his team and play hard, that’s it. If they think it is worth a penalty, why not fine him instead of punishing everyone, including NBA fans? This is a total disgrace, and the NBA is only hurting their own product.

    How a team can have three conversial suspensions in the playoffs is beyond me. There was a guy on the Nuggets grabbing Kamin’s undershorts, and he wasn’t even suspended. These suspensions are being tossed out like candy, and it is really rediculuous, to say the least. Something needs to be done about this nonsense, and they virtually tie everyone’s hands…maybe congress needs to get involved…MLB has a steroid problem and the NBA has a suspension problem…LOL!

    P.S. You can send comments to the NBA also..


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  10. I’ve discussed this play with several officals and none of them agree with Stu and his analysis and apparently other officals in the league as well as none of them have yet to call an infraction.

    As the rules states:
    (i) A player who attempts a field goal may not be the first to touch the ball if it fails to touch the backboard, basket ring or another player.

    Therefore anything hitting off the backboard wheter a pass or not is considered a shot.

    I beleive the referees determined that Kobe made an attempt, recovered the ball and then made another attempt. This is a smart move on the officals part as no one wants an official to try to determine wheter or not someone is taking a shot or passing the ball. If it comes to that the controvesy over calls could be huge.

    Comment by Mike -

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  12. I would like to first start by saying I think you do a great job of running the Mavericks. Being from Philadelphia I wish one of our teams had a passionate owner like yourself. Well we did in Pat Croce but Ed Synder kicked him out, that’s another story.

    I have been reading your BLOG for the past week and I find it very interesting. Your BLOG about Trump was great however the BLOG about “The Kobe Travel Ordeal” has caught my attention. I think you will never win this point. The league will never call that a travel due to the fact that if they do it could jeopardize their popularity. It would be similar to what football is doing by penalizing teams for celebrating after touchdowns.

    The NBA has become a worldly sport, but the NBA has not been able to rebound after the retirement of the big three (MJ, Bird and Magic). The New Wave NBA or what like to call the “Allen Iverson ERA” will never call that a travel, they can’t afford to.

    AI was one of the first players to really breakdown players on the court and he represents the ultimate selfish player that has become the norm in the NBA. But the sad part is the majority of children think this is the correct way to play. Everyone wants to break each other down and not play basketball. I am not the greatest ball player but every spring I go to the local playground to shoot around and I am amazed at what I see, the majority of kids attempt not to score first but to out dribble the next guy. They don’t even care about if they make the shot as long as they got by their defender they won. This is the root of the problem; the NBA has allowed young punks to dictate the game instead of them managing their league.

    But the ironic part is the teams that are successful are the teams that play great TEAM basketball (Spurs, Nets, Pistons, Indiana). But last year’s NBA finals were the lowest rated ever, why? Because who wants to watch textbook basketball. You said it yourself the NBA is a business, it is all about the entertainment and today’s youth rather watch Kobe throw it off the backboard and dunk it rather then watch a pick and roll.

    Comment by James Juliano -

  13. Ha! Just read a comment that the Mavs should play “smothering defense.” Have you seen Dallas? People ride the Kings for being a bad defensive team, but multiply that by like 30 and you get idea of how horrific Dallas’ defense is. I like your team, but they’re just not going to upset Sacto. Kings in 5.

    Comment by Samia -

  14. Wanna beat the Kings? Play smothering defense. Their defense sucks, so they depend on their offense to win games. Vlade’s old, Webber’s still aching, and Dirk can easily shut down Miller. Just be sure to clamp Jackson, Bibby and Stoyakovic. Also, if you need points take out Nash and put in Marquis Daniels. He may be only a rookie, but he’s still incredibly clutch. My suggestion is have the 4 and 5 men play man-to-man down low, and 1,2 and 3 work a zone. On offense, don’t put Dirk to far down low. He’ll have no problems beating the Kings big men off the dribble if they’re in man. Best of luck.

    Comment by Coach -

  15. Why is bouncing the ball off the backboard a pass when boucing the ball off the ground is a dribble. Sounds like it it’s either a shot attempt or a dribble.

    I do agree that it should be clarified in the rules one way or another.

    Comment by Miles Archer -

  16. how many people have thrown it off the backboard and put it in?… mcgrady’s done it so many times, and mark jackson did it once exactly the same way kobe did it. i don’t understand why NOW everyones making a case out of this…

    Comment by NZ -

  17. “g. If a player, with the ball in his possession, raises his pivot foot off the floor, he must pass or shoot before his pivot foot returns to the floor. If he drops the ball while in the air, he may not be the first to touch the ball.”

    The key phrase here is “must pass or shoot BEFORE HIS PIVOT FOOT RETURNS TO THE FLOOR.” So Kobe throwing a pass off the backboard and dunking it is legal because his pivot foot never returns to the floor after he catches the ball off the backboard(not until after he dunks the ball already anyway).

    Comment by Bobby -

  18. The point in all of this was that Kobe may have or may have not traveled. If he didn’t then that’s fine. Call it a “shot attempt.” But don’t take away a rebound from Bob Sura after the game when the ball hit the rim because he didn’t “attempt” a shot in their eyes. If it’s an “attempt” because it is thrown in the direction of the basket and hits a legal part of it (backboard or rim) call the play, don’t factor in the players “intentions.”

    I can’t wait for the playoffs. Vlade will be well rested and have more energy in his flops. I LOVE THIS GAME!!

    Comment by Travis -

  19. I think people are forgetting something here… the ball was caught in the air. It’s not like he passed it to himself ON THE GROUND. Doesn’t that matter and isn’t that why they jump to catch the ball off the backboard?

    Comment by Rey-Rey -

  20. Yeah, probably Fin or Daniels. But I am determined to get Nash to dunk once. That would be too awesome, highlight reel of a lifetime for Steve to pass to himself off the backboard and dunk it.

    Comment by Jordan -

  21. The rules are contradictory. Matter of interpretation, although it does add to the excitement of the game. I’d like to see one of the Mavs pull that move though. It’d probably have to be Finley, or Daniels.

    Comment by Andy -

  22. It’s a sticky situation, but I think that something needs to be done one way or the other, I don’t really care which. The rule should probably be changed or at least made more clear, but more than anything else the league needs to become consistent in their rulings.

    Comment by Jordan -

  23. I would bet if someone does this during the playoffs, they would allow it for sure. I didn’t see Kobe do it, but it happens many times a season. Just check the top ten plays of the week archive and you’ll see videos Jamal Crawford and Baron Davis passing to themselves off the backboard. If they were serious about the rule, they wouldn’t let it happen over and over again. If that’s the rule, they should amend it to make it legal. Plus, the player could always deny that it was a pass- do you really want to refs to determine a player’s intent???

    Comment by Charles -

  24. Doug said:
    > What about when a player bounces the ball
    > off another player on an inbounds play?
    > No shot is being attempted there? That
    > should be considered traveling as well
    > shouldn’t it?

    that situtation would be legal because the throwing-in player was not the first to contact the ball.

    Comment by Matthew Mittelstadt -

  25. Doug, I think you are misinterpreting the second part of that rule. “A player who attempts a field goal…” The question here is whether or not Kobe was attempting a field goal, which he obviously was not. Therefore, he traveled, imo.

    Comment by Jordan -

  26. Jhawk,

    You left this part out:

    (i) A player who attempts a field goal may not be the first to touch the ball if it fails to touch the backboard, basket ring or another player.

    So based on this as I understand rule (i), if the ball hits the backboard it’s considered a shot. So ethically it may not be accepted, but under the rules any ball from the shooter that hits the backboard is considered a shot.

    I saw no violations regarding field goal attempts off the backboard by the shooter.

    Also, my earlier take on the inbounds play is moot since the rules allow an inbounder to touch the ball when it hits a player even though no shot is being taken.

    Comment by Doug -

  27. Stu Jackson has about as much credibility as dub-ya right now. Maybe Stu should worry about doing something about the three steps players are taking when driving to the rack.

    What about when a player bounces the ball off another player on an inbounds play? No shot is being attempted there? That should be considered traveling as well shouldn’t it?

    Bottomline question to anyone willing to answer: who has more heart or lack thereof? Mavs or Kings?

    Comment by Doug -

  28. To those who want to see the actual rule and why it is a travel. See here. Specifically this section under travelling.

    b. A player who receives the ball while he is progressing or upon completion of a dribble, may use a two-count rhythm in coming to a stop, passing or shooting the ball.

    and subsequently in Kobe’s case this applies as well.

    g. If a player, with the ball in his possession, raises his pivot foot off the floor, he must pass or shoot before his pivot foot returns to the floor. If he drops the ball while in the air, he may not be the first to touch the ball.

    If he did not actually shoot the ball, then he dropped the ball and may not be first to touch it. Same as throwing a pass, and your guy wasn’t looking, and you run it down before anyone else touches it. Travelling.

    Comment by jhawk -

  29. I still fail to see how the Lakers are like the yankees, other than the fact that they are one of the most successful franchises in their sport. The lakers are sixth in NBA payroll this season, 15 million dollars behind the Mavericks who are third on the list. The lakers are a great team but are definetly not the Yankees.

    Comment by Sam -

  30. what about the street ball move when a guy bounces a ball off my leg after I have him pinned with good D? Drats. It happened today in a one-on-one game at the park with a friend. I had him trapped. He faked to bounce it off my leg. I brought up the Kobe deal and said it was traveling. We agreed: no more of that stuff! Mark brings up good points that creates better basketball. Even in far away parks.

    Comment by justjump -

  31. I am so excited about this match-up! I’m grateful we’re not facing the Lakers, even thought it would have been a fun first round to watch. I love Mavs/Kings basketball, it is so exciting! Bring it on Sac-town!!

    Comment by Jordan -

  32. You guys are all typing away precious time before carpal tunnel ensues…Jordan could take three steps (if ever he needed that many) and Kobe can go off the backboard, no whistles blown.
    Isn’t it funny how life imitates art; Jordan and Juanita – Kobe and Miss Miss, no whistles shall blow.
    Enjoy the game folks.

    Comment by Ian Lawson -

  33. Where are all the postings from people saying Cube was out of line for his Kobe – Sura comparison. Can’t eat crow? Too much pride I guess.

    Anyway, I thought the league just sent faxes apologizing for bad calls. I didn’t know the are now selectively going back and updating stat sheets.

    Also, did the Lakers get charged for a turnover on that backboard play?

    P.S. The Maloof’s look like a bad WCW Tag Team from the 80’s. Like “The Rock N’ Roll Express.” Beat em’ in six and shut up anoying Kings fans.

    Comment by Travis Richardson -

  34. I am pretty sure you can “stand still” and pass to yourself of the backboard, just as you can pass the ball from hand to hand as much as you want, as long as you dont travel.

    Comment by Peter Broen -

  35. You don’t need a specific rule that passing to yourself off the backboard is illegal. The backboard is inbounds. Passing to yourself off the backboard is the same thing as passing to yourself at midcourt.

    I guess the only question is if you manage to do it while still only taking your two steps (disclaimer – I didn’t see the replay of Kobe’s pass, so I don’t know if he did). If you only take the two steps you’re allowed before a shot and you catch the ball in the air like an alley-oop, I’m not sure what the ruling would be. You haven’t moved any more than you are allowed. The only advantage you’ve possibly gained is fooling the defense.

    Comment by David Irwin -

  36. Anything but the Lakers. I’ll be cheering for the Mavericks from Wisconsin. This is the only franchise in the history of Texas sports I’ve ever supported.

    Comment by Ryan Olson -

  37. Well, I’m glad that’s worked out.

    My only problem is this: I still can’t find the rule that specifically states that passing to yourself off the backboard is illegal. I don’t doubt that it’s true, especially if Stu Jackson says so (he should know!), but I’d like to actually SEE it.

    Comment by Matthew Mittelstadt -

  38. Thanks for posting the clarification. The key is the rim, brother. Tell Stu to clarify the rules and make anything that doesn’t hit the rim a pass.

    Champions don’t think much about who they play in which round because they know they can take all comers. (Of course business men care about getting the best matchups on the best TV slots, so we’ll give you that one)

    GO MAVS!!!!!

    Comment by Joe Schueller -

  39. I wouldn’t worry too much about Sacramento. I am sure they will find a way to blow it. At Dallas games you can pass out Tyra Banks masks. Or, you could do the “white out” thing with white t-shirts, but make sure they say TIME OUT in big letters so that Webber can read them.

    Just as long as someone beats the Lakers, I don’t care. The Lakers are synonymous with the Yankees.

    Comment by Craig -

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