The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 96-66 last night in preseason play, but the game will be remembered for a remarkable sequence in which NBA superstar Lebron James ran down the lane and dunked but was whistled for traveling by an official.
"As bad as some people say our full-time officials are, that call was the best proof yet that these replacement guys are absolutely hopeless," said a source within the commissioner's office. "We don't call traveling on our stars in this league. That's, like, the number one rule for officials. Did Lebron travel? Of course! Blatantly! But you still never ever call it. It's Lebron."
Rich Watkins, the replacement official who called the obvious traveling violation, said he was caught by surprise over the uproar created by his call.
"I blew the whistle, called traveling on Lebron and the entire arena went gasped and then went silent," said Watkins. "I didn't know what had happened. I thought maybe someone on the court had dropped over or something."
But it was just the reaction to Watkins' call although some people in the crowd did pass out, adding to the chaos in the arena. Once order was restored, a dumbfounded James tried to explain the situation to Watkins.
"He told me what he had done was a what was the term he used a 'crab dribble,' I think he called it," said Watkins. "I told him that I've been an official at the amateur level for 27 years and I have never heard of a crab dribble. That this 'crab dribble' is not a real thing. There is a legal dribble and traveling, no gray areas. He just rolled his eyes and walked away."
The reaction to the whistle on James has been swift, with reports already surfacing that the league is close to a deal with the locked-out regular officials.
"We knew this would happen eventually and the NBA would cave," said longtime NBA official Dick Bavetta. "These morons are out there calling games fairly. The league can't have that. Did people want Michael Jordan called for shoving Bryon Russell to the ground before hitting the Finals-winning shot in 1998? Really? Huh. Well, David Stern didn't, and he signs our checks."