could be as simple as skilled players accounting for (and playing to) the refs. fwiw i've more or less stopped noticing Lebron carrying the ball like Gronk when he drives
you see this happen in mlb as well. i've noticed a tendency for the strike zone to open up for *elite* pitchers. but is it a script handed down from on high or simply a supremely skilled athlete working the officials? btw i adore it when dipshits like papelbon get tossed for showing up Blue (sorry for derail)
This is kind of fun.
Bonus: the great Vin Scully, in the last clip, describing Milton Bradley throwing balls on the field "like rice at a wedding".