What Is The Euro Step In Basketball? Move Breakdown

When confronted with tall defenders, you must count on the solid offensive moves you’ve stored up in your arsenal. One of these is the euro step. If this is new to you, you might wonder what the euro step in basketball is and what makes it so effective.

That being said, let’s get to know this iconic move even more.

The euro step in basketball is an offensive move designed to get past a defender and create an open space for a field goal attempt, usually a layup or dunk. This move involves taking two steps in different directions before finally attacking the basket.

How Does the Euro Step Work?

Designed to confuse defense players, the euro step employs a sly footwork strategy to create an open space for a field goal attempt.

It is such a practical move that every player playing the offense should master it and include it in their arsenal.

To do the euro step, an offensive player driving the ball to the basket picks up the ball and plants a vital step in one direction as if he will attempt a shot.

Then, he quickly changes direction by taking a long step at full speed before finally attacking the basket with an easy layup or a full-on slam dunk.

A euro step can throw the defense off the balance if it’s masterfully executed. But an offensive player must stay quick, agile, and strategic for it to work. Quickly finding an open space for the second step is the key.

Why is it Called the Euro Step?

While the euro step is already popular in the NBA, this offensive move originated in European basketball. It is particularly popular in Yugoslavia.

This is why the move was named “euro step”—to give credit to where it all began.

European basketball players are exceptional in performing their tricky footwork. So, when they came to NBA, they popularized this move.

Since then, even American-born players have learned to master it.

Why is Euro Step Not a Travel?

In 2009, the NBA revised a portion of its rulebook specifying what traveling constitutes.

Before, it said that a player could only take one legal step after picking up his dribble.

But in that particular year, the rulebook stipulated that a player may take two steps after completing his dribble to either pass the ball or attempt a field goal.

Because the two-step rule has been established, the euro step does not fall under the traveling nor carrying violation.

Instead, it is considered an effective legal offensive move.

How to Easily do the Euro Step

Player laying up the ball to the basket

If you want to strengthen your offensive strategy, mastering the euro step is an excellent idea. But how can you do so?

Step 1: Drive toward the basket starting outside the three-point arc.

Experts say starting your euro step outside the three-point line increases its effectiveness.

Step 2: Perform the gather step.

Pick up the ball when you’re close enough to a defender and have a reasonable distance from the basket to perform a successful field goal.

Step 3: Plant your first step hard with your left foot.

The majority of players are right-handed. And to perform a right-handed layup, the positioning is more comfortable if you take a strong step with your left foot.

The defender will consider your first step a shot attempt when it is crafty footwork.

And so, this brings us to step 4.

Step 4: Take another step with your opposite foot.

Now, quickly change direction using your left foot at full speed. As you take your second step, prepare to propel your body for a dunk or layup.

Quick note: The final move shouldn’t always be a field goal. It can also be a pass to an open teammate.

That will be another surprise to the defense. Just when they thought you were about to leap for a shot, you tossed the ball to an open teammate known for his unstoppable threes.

How do You Defend a Euro Step?

If you know that a player counts on the two-step move often, he’s actually quite predictable.

Unless he’s swift, he can defend his euro step by mimicking the same move. Just anticipate his next step and plant your step in that direction too.

Who was the First Player to do the Eurostep?

While Manu Ginobili popularized the euro step in the NBA, Sarunas Marciulionis, a Lithuanian basketball player for the Golden State Warriors, introduced the euro step in the league back in 1989.

Who has the Best Euro Step in the NBA?

The euro step is such an effective offensive tool. But few players in the NBA can do it excellently and exceptionally. Wondering who are they?

Let’s take a look at some names that will ring a bell.

Dwayne Wade

Thanks to his explosive speed, Wade can get past just about any defender. Not only that, he can escape double teams as well when he utilizes the two-step maneuver.

Manu Ginobili

Of course, there’s a reason why the euro step has also been known as the ‘Ginobili Euro Step’. This guy playing for the San Antonio Spurs popularized this move in the league.

Tyreke Evans

While he isn’t the speediest player to perform a euro step, Evans is known for his impressive massive strides. Because of the huge space he creates, it becomes easier for him to take an open shot.

Rajon Rondo

Rondo is known for his incredible finishes to the euro step. His close-range shots are unstoppable—thanks to their tricky nature.

Chris Paul

If a seamless euro step is what you’re looking for in the game, then watch Paul closely. While he’s known for making a move, he leaves some room for a thrill by euro-stepping when defenders least expect it.

And so, he catches them off guard with his quickness and agility.

Final Words

As our take-home point, the euro step is a powerful offensive move. But it only works that way if properly executed. To do so, a player must stay agile, focused, strategic, and decisive.

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