LeBron James Blocks Jason Richardson

March, 13, 2009
3/13/09
2:06
PM ET
 
Several people have e-mailed me about this.
 
Wasn't that dangerous just like Trevor Ariza's attempt to block Rudy Fernandez the other night?
 
My response: Yup. It was similar, and no doubt dangerous. And it certainly should have been called a foul.
 
This kind of play is not at all uncommon.
 
I will be the guy to pipe up for the code of letting airborne players land safely. That's a good and important thing to do. But players disrespect it just about every night! It's like the speed limit. It's a good thing to have a rule. But lots of people go fast! It is what it is.
 
Here's the important part, though: If you break that rule, do so knowing that if you are unlucky, and cause a serious accident with your speeding, and heavens forbid hurt somebody ... it's your fault. You're the bad guy.
 
LeBron James was either lucky or skilled, and didn't cause a bad fall.
 
Ariza, on the other hand, was this close to being the villain in a dreadful injury story. The distinguishing drama of the Ariza tale was not Ariza's action -- which was fairly ordinary -- but Fernandez's fall, which looked like it could have been life-altering for the worse. That fall made that play a case study in why the common rule to let people land safely exists in the first place.

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