LeBron James will retire as the most gifted, if not the most decorated player to ever step on a court. His otherworldly talent and fierce mental toughness are responsible for bringing him to the elevated place he has in society. But it's also true to say that he's benefitted from a friendly whistle, as have all the greats — especially in this era. So it's not entirely surprising to see him get away with two travels as he dunked on the Denver Nuggets last night.
Nothing is more inevitable than people jumping to rationalize and defend this using some form of demented logic to showcase how this isn't a travel. But a person simply cannot catch a basketball 70 feet from the rim, dribble twice, and dunk it under the stated rules of basketball. James' gather by itself sees dubious, and that's before the singular dribble at halfcourt leading up to the jam.
This is far from the first time James' slippery feet have gone unnoticed. Earlier this year in Utah, he simply forgot what he was doing and shuffled around with impunity.
There's certainly nothing wrong with superstars getting perks regular players don't get. And pretending the NBA doesn't operate under that class structure is to bury one's head in the sand. These travels always bring great delight because they lay bare the fact that professional sports, especially basketball, are more interested in maximizing entertainment value than the ideal of fairness.
It's good to have a reminder of that every now and again.