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Eric Bledsoe blocks Martell Webster, fools referee

Eric Bledsoe has made a habit of recording highlight reel blocked shots this season, but the referees in Washington on Monday night weren't prepared for this.

Although the Clippers loss to the Washington Wizards was often tough to watch, Eric Bledsoe still provided a few jaw-dropping plays as he almost always does. His block of Martell Webster's fastbreak layup attempt was so unexpected that one of the referee's (I don't know which one) blew the whistle in anticipation of a foul -- and then had to admit that he was wrong and rule it an inadvertent whistle giving the ball out of bounds to the Clippers.

You almost never see this happen. Inadvertent whistles happen, but so do bad calls, and refs are usually pretty loathe to admit a mistake. If there's any chance they can stand by the original call, they almost always do. Seeing Webster headed to the rim and Bledsoe angling to cut him off, it's clear one of the referees simply assumed that a foul was imminent. But if you watch and listen to the play carefully, you can tell that whoever blew the whistle immediately realized his mistake. It was a half-hearted, truncated tweet.

Replays clearly showed that Webster mishandled the ball on his own, that Bledsoe got all ball on top, and more importantly that there is daylight between there bodies in the air. On almost any play at the rim you could probably justify a foul based on body contact, though it's usually allowed if the ball is blocked cleanly. In this case there was simply nothing. Players, fans and analysts throw the term "all ball" around pretty liberally, but in this case it was true. Bledsoe got all ball, and did so without touching Webster anywhere.

Bledsoe is an amazing athlete, but even so it's not every day that a feat is so unexpected that a referee assumes that no human could accomplish it without committing a foul, and then feels compelled to recognize the accomplishment by admitting his own mistake.