What’s the “Collect Step” Rule in Basketball? (Defined)

Maybe there’s no louder criticism of the NBA than the incessant grievance that gamers are allowed to journey at any time when they need within the title of flashy dunks and SportsCenter highlights.

I received’t deny that the touring violation ought to most likely be referred to as extra within the NBA, however lately the implementation of the “collect step” rule has made what seems to be a journey, authorized.

Additionally referred to as the “zero-step,” this new rule confuses many gamers and followers.

To make issues even more durable, the breakneck tempo of basketball on the skilled degree makes it extremely tough to course of with out going again and watching the play body by body.

On this article we’ll attempt to make clear what constitutes a collect step and why you’ll be able to cease yelling at LeBron James and James Harden for getting away with touring violations again and again.

What’s a Collect Step in Basketball?

A collect step refers to an additional third step {that a} participant could make after choosing up their dribble.

Within the NBA the depend begins with step one taken after a participant has stopped dribbling.

This primary step is sometimes called the “zero” step, with two extra steps being allowed afterward.

This implies the pivot foot technically can hit the bottom earlier than the ball is both shot or handed and not using a journey being referred to as.

What Leagues is the Collect Step Authorized?

Opposite to the favored legend that NBA gamers journey always, the collect step is authorized within the NBA, offering gamers with that further third step that always sends followers and generally even coaches and gamers into hysteria. 

Whereas touring is sadly missed in some instances, there’s a giant distinction between this, and a authorized collect step (proven within the video above).

The NBA clarified the idea of the collect step earlier than the 2019 season and technically made it authorized whereas FIBA legalized the transfer the yr prior.

What could make this rule complicated for younger gamers is the collect step is taken into account a journey at the highschool and school degree, a lot to the chagrin of some coaches. 

In these decrease ranges, the primary foot to the touch the ground after the dribble has been picked up is the pivot foot. It might probably solely come off the bottom to launch the ball and shall be referred to as a journey if it touches the bottom whereas the ball handler nonetheless has possession.

Collect Step Examples:

The collect step rule change has been utilized by a various vary {of professional} gamers in a number of distinctive methods. 

Let’s check out some of the bodily gifted athletes on the planet…

a. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis is so lengthy and coordinated, that giving him the good thing about a collect step with out dribbling permits him to choose up his dribble as distant because the three-point line and nonetheless attain the rim.

Take a look at the drive on the 1:40 mark within the above video the place he manages to go from the highest of the arc to the rim in two-and-a-half steps.

b. James Harden

Nobody has made the 0-step extra controversial than The Beard, James Harden. 

Harden makes use of the collect step to not get to the rim, however to create separation on his step-back leap shot. The interpretation of what constitutes a “collect” in these conditions has created one thing of a Pandora’s Field for the NBA.

Many would argue that is an unlawful transfer, even beneath the collect step provision. And boy do a few of these seem like a journey while you’re watching reside. 

The precept is similar because the Giannis drives nonetheless…

The distinction is Giannis will get to the ring so rapidly and thru site visitors so we’re not watching his steps as intently. 

Harden however, is utilizing the collect step on the perimeter in isolation the place that further step stands out clear as day. 

We’ve additionally grown up with it ingrained in our minds that any third step ought to lead to a touring violation.

It appears unfair for a participant to cowl that a lot floor with out the ball touching the courtroom. However by the letter of the legislation, what Harden is doing right here, at the least by NBA and FIBA guidelines, is authorized. 

What Concerning the Euro Step?

There’s additionally the Euro Step, which shares quite a lot of similarities with the brand new collect step.

The Euro step has a unfastened definition as a horizontal jab with one foot earlier than pushing off in the other way to get round a defender, normally on the rim. 

Manu managed quite a lot of these beneath the previous rule interpretation, mastering the “two-and-a-half step” drive which allowed him to create an amazing quantity of area within the paint to get off his floater or layup.  

Nonetheless, you’ll be able to nonetheless hear shouts for “journey” on the 0:53 mark of the above clip.

The footage is grainy, however you’ll be able to see the muse for the collect step in Ginobli’s drive.

It’s laborious to inform precisely when he picks up his dribble, however his capacity to get from the highest of the important thing to the rim in a few strides is spectacular.


The road between a touring violation and the newly interpreted collect step on the skilled degree is very small.

Add within the unimaginable tempo that the sport is performed within the NBA and FIBA, and it could actually take a body by body breakdown to find out if that James Harden step again was authorized or not.

Together with the saturation of three pointers and an general enhance in tempo, the collect step has been instrumental within the skyrocketing offensive effectivity within the NBA.

The consequence being, one might argue, a extra entertaining model of basketball to observe than an never-ending parade of post-ups and fallaway jumpers. 

However till these guidelines are applied in the highschool and school ranks, there’s little younger gamers can study from watching their favourite athletes pull off strikes that will be referred to as a turnover in the event that they tried it.

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