LeBron James Blocks Jason Richardson

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.