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#pounditSunday, June 26, 2022

Ja Morant responds to criticism of controversial palming move

Ja Morant carries the ball

Ja Morant still isn’t ducking any smoke, even when it comes to the criticisms of his dribbling on social media.

A clip went viral this week of the Memphis Grizzlies guard appearing to blatantly travel while doing a palming move in Game 2 against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday (check out the video here). The viral clip sparked discussion about the way that Morant dribbles with many suggesting that the 22-year-old All-Star gets away with traveling violations fairly often.

Morant responded to the debate in a tweet, saying that “everybody does it.”

Morant does bring up a pretty good point here. While his palming move is probably a travel going by the strict text of the NBA rules, referees virtually never whistle anyone for that violation, creating an even playing field for all. If you slowed down and scrutinized the way that every NBA star dribbles, you would probably find that every single one of them was guilty of some sort of travel. Meanwhile, it is worth noting that there was likely some bias too on the part of the account that originally tweeted the viral clip (their profile picture is notably an image of Warriors guard Jordan Poole).

Of course, we have seen some totally outrageous travels in the NBA before that are comically obvious in real time and yet still go uncalled. But Morant’s palming move is one that should barely register on anyone’s radar in the grand scheme of things.


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