Digital chalkboard: the Euro-step

For the most part basketball in the States has been a straight-line game. Getting to the rim has been about speed and power. On the individual level players have a separation move (think crossover) and then they have to be quick enough to get to the rim, and strong enough to finish through the contact they’re inevitably going to meet.

But as International players became a bigger part of the NBA in the 90’s they imported their own moves, which often utilize deception to reach the same goals.

Sarunas Marciulionis – from Lithuania – made a good living in the NBA and twice was runner up for the Sixth Man of the Year Award. And he did it with a move that a lot of players hadn’t seen before. It was a deceptive move. It looked like a travel.

It was the Euro-step.

The move became more common in the NBA during the last decade, and as the game flows the NBA style slowly filters down into the college level. This comes from two directions: young kids imitating what they see on tv, and college coaches implementing what they’re able to glean from the other markets. John Calipari, for one, began teaching the move to his players.

The reason this move is so effective at the college level is that college refs love to call the charge. And since so many charges occur, defenders are constantly trying to draw them. So a counter-move needs to be applied, and that counter is the Euro-step.

Now it’s becoming common. And while you’re sitting on the couch watching college hoops you need to be able to impress your girlfriend (or boyfriend) by identifying moves. So what is it?

Here Manu Ganobili – considered one of the masters of this move – explains: