a. A player who receives the ball while standing still may pivot, using either foot as the pivot foot.
b. A player who receives the ball while he is progressing or upon completion of a dribble, may take two steps in coming to a stop, passing or shooting the ball. A player who receives the ball while he is progressing must release the ball to start his dribble before his second step. The first step occurs when a foot, or both feet, touch the floor after gaining control of the ball. The second step occurs after the first step when the other foot touches the floor, or both feet touch the floor simultaneously. A player who comes to a stop on step one when both feet are on the floor or touch the floor simultaneously may pivot using either foot as his pivot. If he jumps with both feet he must release the ball before either foot touches the floor. A player who lands with one foot first may only pivot using that foot. A progressing player who jumps off one foot on the first step may land with both feet simultaneously for the second step. In this situation, the player may not pivot with either foot and if one or both feet leave the floor the ball must be released before either returns to the floor.
c. In starting a dribble after (1) receiving the ball while standing still, or (2) coming to a legal stop, the ball must be out of the player’s hand before the pivot foot is raised off the floor.
d. If a player, with the ball in his possession, raises his pivot foot off the floor, he must pass or shoot before his pivot foot returns to the floor. If he drops the ball while in the air, he may not be the first to touch the ball.
e. A player who falls to the floor while holding the ball, or while coming to a stop, may not gain an advantage by sliding.
f. A player who attempts a field goal may not be the first to touch the ball if it fails to touch the backboard, basket ring or another player.
g. A player may not be the first to touch his own pass unless the ball touches his backboard, basket ring or another player.
h. Upon ending his dribble or gaining control of the ball, a player may not touch the
floor consecutively with the same foot (hop).
So it's pretty clear that the answer is never more than two steps. That said, I don't have any idea what standard NBA referees use. It's particularly disturbing when you have the Vice President of Referee Operations explaining to ESPN's Henry Abbott a few years back that "We really don't reference the rulebook." Oh... of course... why would you do that?? Rulebooks are stupid anyway. Don't even know why we have them... Huh?!?!?
Look, I get it that basketball is a fast game and when you have one look at a play at breakneck speed, you're going to miss some stuff. But when you're talking about 3-4 steps on a dunk without a dribble, or multiple switching pivot foots (pivot feet?)... I mean come on. So I didn't see the Howard play, but in this day and age of basketball, it doesn't really surprise me to hear that's what it looked like. I mean check out some of these gems:
Thunder Dan Majerle Taking 8 Steps
Chauncey Billups Going 4 steps for 3 (wait for it)
Shaq Changing Pivot Foot Like 23 Times
So yeah, honestly I don't know what to tell you. Maybe we should just eliminate dribbling all together. It's only getting in the way.
It seems that the New York Red Bulls are going after Stephen Ireland and passing on Michael Ballack. While Ballack's agent reportedly called the move "clueless," Ireland Is 25 and Ballack is 35. Does this seem like a good move for both the Red Bulls and MLS in general? Going after the younger talent and trying to improve the level of competition instead of maybe picking up players who are big names, but may be past their prime? - Cory L., Raceland, LA
|Photo Credit: mlssoccer.com|
Now Michael Ballack is a legend. This guy scored over 40 goals for the German National Team including the one that knocked the U.S. out of the 2002 World Cup. He's been successful everywhere he's gone and he's a phenomenal passer. The problem, as you stated though, is that he's 35 years old. He's dealt with injuries since leaving Chelsea and has scored just three goals and tallied just three assists in 21 matches for Bayer Leverkusen this season. Will Ballack be an impact player in MLS? Absolutely. But he's not going to have the impact that the Red Bulls are looking for and he's certainly not a long term solution.
Drew Carey, who is one of the owners of the Seattle Sounders, has said that they have ambitious hopes... He not only wants to win the MLS Cup, but wants to be competitive worldwide, even be the top team in the world. What kind of changes are going to have to be made in the MLS (and possibly the U.S. in regards to soccer in general) to be able to realize such lofty aspirations? - Cory L., Raceland, LA
Obviously Major League Soccer isn't ready to be called one of the world's elite leagues just yet, but they're taking steps in the right direction. The ability to bring in star players IN THEIR PRIMES from other countries (Robbie Keane, Terrence Boyd, Rafa Marquez, Blas Pérez, etc) shows you that players around the world are beginning to take MLS more seriously. And one of the big reasons for that is the continued tapping into the player pools of our South and Central American neighbors (for the purpose of this discussion I'm lumping the Caribbean in with Central America). Of the 28 players who scored 8 goals or more in MLS last year, 20 weren't from the U.S., and 12 of them came from Central or South American nations (Grenada, Guatemala, Venezuela, Uruguay, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru).
|Photo Credit: mikerussellfoto.com|
|Photo Credit: channelguidemagblog.com|
Okay, so the NFL just handed down their penalty for the whole "bountygate" thing. With no deal done for Drew Brees yet, how is this gonna affect our chances of keeping him in New Orleans long-term? - Cory L., Raceland, LA
|Photo Credit: sportsforceonline.com|
How important is it for Caleb Porter, the coach of the USMNT U-23's and Jurgen Klinsman to be on the same page as far as coaching strategies and philosophies are concerned? - Cory L., Raceland, LA
|Photo Credit: ussoccer.com|
Special thanks as always to everyone who wrote in this week. And remember, as the great G$ Meyer says Reading is for Winners, especially when you read Smitty's Mailbag.
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