After two lopsided games, the NBA Finals have been lacking for much competitive excitement or controversy. Sure, there have been more than a few electrifying plays, but each contest has been settled long before the final whistle. Fans and sportswriters who love to squabble over crunch-time play-calling, referee bias, and “the clutch gene” have been starved of precious take fodder.
But now, like a lone dandelion poking through a crack in the sidewalk, comes hope. In the third quarter of Game 2, Stephen Curry squared up against LeBron James and proceeded to shake and bake the Cavs forward with a merciless sequence of moves. It was the moment of the finals so far.
It was also maybe illegal.
A dribble ends, according to NBA rules, when the dribbler “touches the ball simultaneously with both hands.” Once the dribble ends, the dribbler must not recommence dribbling. A violation of this rule—that is, a double-dribble—results in loss of possession for the offending team. In addition, the party responsible for the double-dribble is imprisoned in a federal penitentiary for a minimum of 20 years.
On Tuesday, the National Basketball Referees Association chimed in from its infallible, blue-checkmarked Twitter account:
“Stephen Curry Gets Away With Blatant Double-Dribble Against LeBron James,” howled the headline at Cavaliers Nation. The usually staid and demure Mike Francesa chimed in to note that Curry’s post-infraction celebration proves he “doesn’t have a lot of class as a player.”
I don’t know about you, but I too am outraged. In preparation for the launch of my GoFundMe campaign to raise money for my class-action lawsuit against Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors, and the NBA, allow me to list the myriad offenses on display during that shameful double-dribble.
1. Kids are watching!: Millions of children look up to Steph Curry, so what does he do? He commits a violation that is as clear as day when the footage is slowed down using the latest in high-speed camera technology. Back in my day, kids who wanted to “Be Like Mike” grew up to be police officers and small-business owners—the lifeblood of this great nation. Kids who want to “Be Like Steph” will be too busy double-dribbing to keep our streets safe or bring jobs back to Main Street.
2. Let’s see him try that in the ’90s!: If Steph had done that back in the NBA’s heyday, Charles Oakley would’ve smashed his hands with a hammer, Casino-style, right there on the court, and the refs would have waved play on.
3. There was also a three-second violation!: Warriors center Zaza Pachulia was clearly dilly-dallying in the paint as Steph put LeBron in the spin cycle. Repeated viewings with stopwatch in hand reveal Pachulia was in the painted area for roughly four seconds—a profound violation of one of basketball’s least-compelling rules.
Based on my in-depth analysis, the incorrigible Warriors are breaking a minimum of two NBA rules every time down the floor. When will this madness end?
Believe me, if I had access to a time machine, I would go back and prevent Steph Curry from ever being born. Sadly, at the rate at which time-travel technology is being developed, such a maneuver won’t be possible for at least another six-to-eight weeks. For now, we have no choice but to live in a world in which the Warriors won Game 2 of the 2017 NBA Finals by 19 points instead of 17.