Turnover (basketball)

In basketball, a turnover occurs when a team loses possession of the ball to the opposing team before a player takes a shot at their team's basket. This can result from the ball being stolen, the player making mistakes such as stepping out of bounds, illegal screen, a double dribble, having a pass intercepted, throwing the ball out of bounds, three-second violation, five-second violation, or committing an error such as traveling, a shot clock violation, palming, a backcourt violation, or committing an offensive foul. A technical foul against a team that is in possession of the ball is a blatant example of a turnover, because the opponent is awarded a free throw in addition to possession of the ball.

Some players are prone to turnovers because of having poor court vision[clarify] or making mental mistakes[clarify]. Also, many superstars average more turnovers than anybody on their team as they will often be handling the ball. A point guard may often have the most turnovers because they are usually the player that possesses the ball most for their respective team.

According to Boston Globe sportswriter Bob Ryan, the concept of the turnover was first formulated by his colleague Jack Barry.[1] Turnovers were first officially recorded in the NBA during the 1977–78 season and ABA during the 1967–68 season.


The record for the most turnovers in an NBA game is shared by Jason Kidd and John Drew. Kidd committed 14 turnovers against the New York Knicks on November 17, 2000 while playing for the Phoenix Suns. Drew committed 14 turnovers against the New Jersey Nets on March 1, 1978 while playing for the Atlanta Hawks. The record for most turnovers in an NBA playoff game was 13, set by James Harden on May 27, 2015 while playing for the Houston Rockets against the Golden State Warriors.[2] The WNBA has recorded turnovers since its inaugural season in 1997. The record for the most turnovers by a WNBA team in one game is 33. The record for the most turnovers by a WNBA player per season is held by Ticha Penicheiro, who committed 135 turnovers in 1999.[3] The career record for the most turnovers by a WNBA player is held by Becky Hammon, who committed 1224 turnovers.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ryan, Bob. "Bob Ryan says goodbye after 44 years". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  2. ^ "TOV playoff". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  3. ^ "Leaders". Basketball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2015-01-09.
  4. ^ "TOV career". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2015-01-09.