James Harden has become one of the NBA’s many polarizing players as he’s grown into the ideal pure-scorer alive. While nobody denies Harden’s numbers are incredible — he’s leading the NBA in scoring at 35.2 points every game, five points ahead of Giannis Antetokounmpo — just how he gets them has become a subject of national debate.

Harden’s attack arsenal has actually been constructed on a barrage the step-back and also side-step three-pointers an unified with one unprecedented capability to draw fouls, yet the part of his video game that confounds for this reason many people is his euro-step layup.

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Harden didn’t create the euro-step, yet it certain looks like he’s perfected it. Once Harden choose up his dribble and goes right into the move, defenses space at his mercy come surrender 2 points. The relocate has end up being so reliable that that led to plenty of opposing fans, players, and also announcers calling for it to be whistled together a travel.

It taken place again during the Houston Rockets’ 120-110 win over the Utah Jazz Saturday night. Harden again led the method for Houston with 38 points, yet it’s one beat in specific that has driven conversation in the hours since. As Harden attacked the Jazz defense and used a euro-step layup come score a bucket, Utah’s announcers to be pleading because that a traveling speak to on TV.


Euro or travel? Either method James still has this in his bag pic.twitter.com/YnwNA3Hka4

— NBA on ESPN (
ESPNNBA) February 23, 2020

At first glance, it sure looks choose Harden is taking 3 steps prior to he scores the ball, which would certainly be against the rules and also should it is in whistled together a travel. But if girlfriend look in ~ the NBA ascendancy book and also watch the play again, the pretty clean this isn’t traveling. It’s a completely legal move.

It every comes back to the “gather” step. Here’s exactly how the NBA rule publication defines a gather:

For a player that is in regulate of the round while dribbling, the conference is defined as the suggest where a player does any type of one the the following:

Puts two hands ~ above the ball, or otherwise permits the round to concerned rest, while he is in regulate of it;

Puts a hand under the ball and also brings it come a pause; or

Otherwise profit enough regulate of the sphere to host it, adjust hands, pass, shoot, or cradle it versus his body.

Incorporating the Gather into the traveling Rule

The gather will certainly be specifically incorporated into the traveling dominion to clarification how plenty of steps a player may take after that receives the round while progressing or completes his dribble:

A player that gathers the round while progressing may (a) take it two measures in comes to a stop, pass or shoot the round or (b) if he has actually not yet dribbled, one step before releasing the round to start his dribble.

A player that gathers the sphere while dribbling might take two procedures in coming to a stop, pass or shooting the ball.

The very first step occurs once a foot, or both feet, touch the floor after ~ the player gathers the ball.

That last heat is the most important. NBA public official don’t begin counting measures until the gather is complete. Harden and also other stars prefer Antetokounmpo have been able to leverage that dominion to their advantage when driving come the basket.

Watch the Harden play over again. Harden is gathering the ball as he renders his first step. The is legal according to the preeminence book and does not begin the count on how countless steps Harden is allowed to take:

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Harden then takes 2 steps and lays the sphere in. That does show up he drags his earlier foot right into his final step, yet as Basketball failure and others have pointed out, that’s legal together well.

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No, Harden no traveling as soon as he goes right into his euro-step layup, even if that looks that way to casual fans. This is a legit move because of exactly how the gather is identified in the rule book. Remember the the following time who complains the Harden is taking 3 steps.