NBA puts it in writing



NBA players now will be able to take two steps before they have to stop, pass or shoot this season.

The NBA put into writing a rule allowing players on the move to gather the ball, after driving or catching it, and then take two steps. Throughout NBA history, the rulebook said players could take one step.

The rule reads, in part “A player who receives the ball while he is progressing or upon completion of a dribble, may take two steps in coming to a stop, passing or shooting the ball.”


It’s clearly been the unwritten rule for years. Why not put it in writing.


The reason it was an unwritten rule is that it is VERY hard to see at full speed.

I once had a referee show me in slow motion how what looked like 3 or 4 steps was in fact legal (catch the ball just after you pick up a foot, what appears to be the next “two steps” are actually just establishing your base, and the 2nd foot down can become your pivot foot, so then you get one step (what looks like step number three). You can even start to take another step (step number 4!), and as long as you release the ball before the foot lands, you are legal.

By officially giving them another step, we’re opening the door to allowing 4 or 5 steps in the NBA. Whups, never mind - I’ve already seen this happen.


Why not enforce the original rule? Bill Walton once said, “if the NBA enforced the travelling rule, you never would’ve heard of Patrick Ewing or Shaquille O’Neal.” I’m sure you could add others to that list.