Phil Jackson on the NBA's New Traveling Rule

Broderick Turner of the L.A. Times asked Lakers Coach Phil Jackson about the NBA's new traveling rule:

If you ask Jackson, the new rule under which players are allowed to take two steps before they have to stop, pass or shoot, is really nothing new.

"Well, I guess if you can't call it, you just regulate it as a rule," Jackson quipped about something players had been doing for years. "But, it's really hard to digest that as a person that's been in basketball for as long as I've been in basketball, that we're just going to give in to this new rule of doing it."

Jackson said he's always been against the "two-step walk," even mentioning how Reggie Miller used to catch the basketball and then go two steps back to get behind the three-point line for a shot.

Jackson said there has been a European style influencing the NBA in which players "guys pick it up and run a couple of steps with the ball."

Jackson said he believes that a player's footwork could become an issue with the new rules. He was asked whether the NBA will soon put in a rule allowing players to carry the basketball.

"Well, palming the ball or carrying the ball has been in our game for quite a while now," Jackson said, adding that Allen Iverson "was probably the most egregious in that distinction. But the discontinue-dribble is the one to stop. When the rhythm of the basketball dribble stops, then there's a definite advantage to the offensive player."

Jackson brings up an interesting point about the internationalization of the game. Many aficionados of international basketball consider the NBA to be vastly more lenient than overseas in allowing all kinds of travels (especially at the beginning of the dribble). But Jackson points back the other way, saying that this particular kind of traveling, at the end of the dribble, is coming from Europe.