TWO days after Nick Young hit the game winner against the OKC Thunder, the NBA has admitted that the Lakers guard traveled before hitting the three-pointer to clinch a 111-109 victory.
The NBA Review Center isn't mandated to make an official 'Last Two Minutes' report on the game since the Lakers were up by by six heading into the final stretch before OKC made the game close in the end.
The NBA only makes official reports on calls for games that are within five points with two minutes left.
But according to Eric Horne of The Oklahoman, the NBA has nonetheless come clean and admitted to OKC Thunder officials that Young indeed traveled before hitting the clutch three-point shot.
That should raise an interesting point, especially in light of a similar non-call on Ginebra's Sol Mercado in Game Five of the last PBA Governors Cup Finals against Meralco just last month.
The two plays are not exactly the same - Young basically intercepted a pass intended for teammate Lou Williams while Mercado was dribbling downcourt when he took four extra steps.
But the bone of contention is more or less the same.
Just moments after the game, OKC coach Billy Donovan insisted Young, once he established possession, took two extra steps before launching the three-point shot.
That's traveling, the veteran coach insisted.
Watch the play:
In Mercado's case, Meralco coach Norman Black was adamant the Ginebra guard traveled since, one, he picked up his own fumble, and, two, he took two more steps after re-establishing possession.
But the big difference here is that while the NBA has admitted the referees' mistake, the PBA has insisted that its referees were right not to call a traveling on Mercado.
The PBA, in fact, put up on its website a copy of the rules on traveling violations from Fiba, which the local pro league follows, to defend the referees' decision on the Mercado non-call.
Here they are:
1. A dribble is defined as a ball movement caused by a player in control, who taps the ball onto the floor, and then touches it once before it reaches the floor.
2. 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.
3. In the FIBA definition of a dribble, it is stated that there is no limit to the number of steps a player may take when the ball is not in contact with his hand.
What is interesting to note here is that while the NBA doesn't follow Fiba rules, the US league is more liberal on rules on traveling - and more lenient on players when it comes to such violations.
So if the NBA admits Young committed a traveling violation, does it make sense that Mercado didn't?
You be the judge.