Throwback: What if LeBron’s Play Was Called a Goaltend?

It’s clear.

Damian Lillard, one of the NBA’s best guards, was robbed of a basket because of an obvious goaltend that wasn’t called. Watch the highlight below to see this horrible officiating in action:

This got me thinking back to 2016 and Game 7.

Everyone remembers LeBron James’ famous “Block,” which led to Kyrie Irving’s “Shot” and the Cavs taking that glorious championship in a 3-1 magical comeback. Looking at the highlight below and it is so, so close. Yes, it is a good block (by the rules), but it was literally a millisecond away from touching the glass and being a goaltend, which would’ve given the Warriors the basket. Thanks to JR, by the way, for altering Iggy’s path to the hoop and allowing James to catch up.

Imagine if the ref blew the whistle and gave those two points to the Warriors?

89-89 the score, just under 1:50 to go. That would have made it 91-89 Warriors up. Now, the Cavs still could have won the game even if a goaltend was called. Kyrie could have hit the three and it would have simply put the Cavs up one instead of three like it did in reality. However, the entire last few minutes would have been altered.

Thus, hats off to the refs. Usually, the only reason to talk about officiating is to criticize it (like with Damian Lillard’s play). However, with LeBron’s block, Cleveland fans can continue to give thanks to the refs for swallowing the whistle and making the right call.

It ultimately led to the Cavs winning the championship, the first in Cleveland since 1964. Amazing how less than a second probably decided the outcome of the biggest game in Cleveland sports history.

Say it was called a goaltend. Say the Warriors ended up winning the title that year…

Well, that play would’ve been up there with…The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot, The Blown Save, etc. It would have caused anguish and agony from Cleveland fans that probably would continue through the present day. Warriors fans would argue those two points alone didn’t win the game. While that would be true, it certainly swung the moment of the contest.

That block is a highlight Cleveland fans will show their children and their childrens’ children. I am glad the refs made the right call and we did not have a Dame Dollar situation occur back in 2016. It is the signature play of LeBron James’ illustrious career and it is still amazing to watch years later.

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