Yesterday we posted amateur footage of San Antonio’s AT&T Center as thousands of fans watched on the jumbotron when Ray Allen canned the clutch game-tying three at the end of the NBA Finals’ Game 6.
Now, NBA legend, and occasional analyst, Brent Barry weighs in on Ray Ray’s instant-legendary shot and actually thinks the two-time NBA champion got away with a travel. Speaking to Hot Hot Hoops he says that Allen took an extra step as he moved behind the three point line after Chris Bosh grabbed the offensive board and dished out to him.
What are your general thoughts on the Miami Heat championship and the 2013 NBA Finals?
[...]They were fortunate enough to be able to repeat as champions which is a very difficult thing to do. They got a little help from San Antonio and from an official who swallowed his whistle on Ray Allen‘s travel on the 3-point shot that tied the game in Game 6. Otherwise the Spurs would have been the champions and nobody talks much about that. But that’s a part of what happens in the game and you have to credit them for responding as they did and being able to come away with a victory.
You just mentioned that you think Ray Allen travelled on that corner 3 at the end of Game 6…
There’s no question about it, just watch the replay that they showed from the overhead camera. He catches the ball with one foot down, steps back, brings the foot that he had down back to shoot the ball. That’s traveling, you can’t move your pivot foot without dribbling.
Barry doesn’t think this was a conspiracy by the league and referees to help the Heat win, he simply believes they were lucky that the official missed the call.
Do you think the ref saw that and chose not to interfere with such an important moment of a championship game or did it happen so quickly Allen’s shuffle to that spot looked legit?
It happened so quickly that the official just saw Ray doing it and he was looking down probably just to see if he got behind the three-point arc. It was a great shot, but they didn’t call it so it doesn’t matter. They got away with it, so lucky them.
You can see the play closely here. Before Barry said this I never gave it much thought, but looking closer he might (emphasis “might”) be onto something. The difficulty is in discerning when Allen had possession, as he was already stepping back as the ball drifted towards his hands. Even after looking at it a few times, it looks too close to call so I’d say good no-call, but I believe a case can be made that this was a travelling violation.
Either way, it’s moot, and Allen canned one of the biggest shots in NBA history – that’s the real story.
[UPDATED: Referees Review And Say Allen Did Not Travel]
As part of the annual NBA referee pre-season summit they reviewed several plays from the last year, and spent extra time looking at Ray Allen's clutch step back three in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
After carefully reviewing, the refs disagreed with Rick Barry, and say Allen did not travel.
On Thursday the league invited some members of the media to look at some of the work the officials have been doing and discuss some minor rule changes and adjustments. But one thing that came up was Allen’s huge shot. Was it or wasn’t it a travel?
The answer from the best in the world was definitive: No.
Barry and others feel that Allen took three steps, one more than allotted, before shooting the ball. Looking at it frame-by-frame, indeed there is some gray area there. Under league rules, a player is permitted two steps after the “gather.”
A player is allowed two steps after they gather the ball. The only thing to dispute here is when do you think Allen gathered the ball. Personally, after reviewing a ton of times I can't tell and like the ref's call. It looks as if he had not gathered before beginning his steps. Ray, being the savvy shooter he is, had begun shuffling his feet back as the ball was approaching.