The Euro Step is a move in basketball where the offensive player takes two long steps to evade a defender. The first step is usually taken in one direction, and the second step that in an opposite direction.
What is a Euro step in basketball?
Also called the side step or the two-step, a Euro step is an offensive move that aims to evade a defender. The offensive player picks up the dribble, takes one step in one direction, and follows it with a long step in the other direction. If done properly, the offensive player easily goes around the defender for a finish around the basket. This is one of those basketball moves that is best to watch on video than to try to describe – see videos below.
- The euro step is almost exclusively an offensive move. It allows the offensive player to avoid a possible charging foul or finish with a layup in the basket.
- It is called one of the most controversial moves because a player executing it could nearly be called for a traveling violation.
- Although the euro step was commonly used in the NBA, it is not technically legal until the league changed the rules in 2009. The said rule explicitly states that a player is given two steps after the termination of the dribble (gather).
- Aside from evading the defender directly in front, a euro step could also mess up the timing of help defenders and shot blockers.
- All of the great scorers in today’s NBA have the Euro step in their offensive arsenal.
Tips on How to Do the Euro Step
The basic idea of the euro step is to go one way on the first step and then go in the opposite direction for the second step. As simple as that sounds, it takes outstanding fundamentals to pull this off. Check out these tips to effectively execute the euro step:
Explode on your first step
The purpose of the first step is to make the defender lean in that direction. As soon as he makes that mistake, you take advantage by taking a second long step in the other direction. Now, the best way to make the defender commit to your first step is to let him see that you mean it. That’s why it’s very important to explode on the first step. If the defender sees that you’re doing the jab step half-heartedly, he may sense what you are up to.
Use the pound dribble
A pound dribble is simply dribbling the ball as hard and as fast as you can. This is very important in correctly executing the euro step. By using the pound dribble just before the first step, you sell the move better and eliminates the possibility of being called for a traveling violation.
Protect the ball
When defenders realize that you got them beat with the euro step, they may swipe the ball as a last-ditch attempt to stop you from scoring. To prevent that, rip the ball over or under the defender’s hands. Who knows, you may even get an And-1.
Remember to take LONG steps
It won’t be a euro step if you won’t be taking long steps. Long steps help you cover more distance and get you around defenses more easily.
Euro Step Facts and Videos
Well-known Serbian basketball player and coach Vlade Durovic noted that he had seen the Euro step as far back as the 1960s. As a 15-year old boy, he recalled that it was constantly pulled off by a player named Vladimir Cvetkovic in 1963 Yugoslavia. Durovic even called the Euro step a “normal move” in Europe. Obviously, that’s the reason why it’s called the Euro step in the first place.
The man who brought the Euro step into the NBA is Sarunas Marciulionis in 1989.
In the early 2000s, Manu Ginobili popularized the Euro step. Coincidentally, Ginobili and Marciulionis are both lefties. Check out some of Ginobili’s Euro step exploits in the video below:
Manu Ginobili Revolutionized the Eurostep Video
Dwyane Wade literally ran rings around the defense with the Euro step. See D-Wade hit the Euro step on Kevin Garnett no less.
Dwyane Wade Amazing Crossover on Garnett Video
James Harden’s go-to move is also the Euro step. The best thing about Harden’s Euro step is he can go right to left or left to right at any given moment. That’s scary!
James Harden’s Best Euro Steps Video
What if a 7-foot monster messes around and does the Euro step?
Giannis Euro Step Video
The Greek Freak’s two-step Euro move is said to cover 15 feet of ground. That sounds unfair, but Antetokounmpo’s physical gifts allow him to do the Euro step in a much different way than the others.
You’re on the Euro Step Definition in Basketball page.
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