Every coach wants an unselfish team, and every player enjoys playing on one. But the time to be unselfish is not when you get the ball in the three-second lane. When you get the ball in the lane, it is Nostril Time (see #96), time for you to get strong, time for you to go for it. Score!
There are exceptions of course. If, at the instant you get the ball, three defenders surround you and you are ten feet from the basket, not right beside it, it is best to flip the ball out to a teammate and leave the lane. You would like to stay there for rebounding position, but you shouldn’t. A pass from the lane signals the referee the way a red cape attracts a bull. Even if you can cut into the lane, get a pass, flip it back out and have the shot go up in two seconds, it is not worth the risk. Referees tend to think this cannot be done in less than three seconds, so they blow their whistles. And they’re usually right.
Any time you catch the ball in the lane, plan on shooting. Go all the way. Go for broke. If you start to go for it, then decide you can’t get a good shot and begin to make a great pass, the chances are excellent that your great assist will be accompanied by a whistle. If you know immediately that a shot is not a good opportunity, get the ball out to a teammate and you get out, too.
Referees will not call you for a lane violation when you are in there two and a half or three seconds if you don’t have the ball. But if you get the ball in the lane and pass it out, you may get a violation called for just two seconds. Anytime you get the ball in the lane and pass it out, show the referee that you are hustling to get out. Any less effort is likely to result in a whistle, even if three seconds haven’t gone by.
From Dick’s book Stuff