I don't think it's even considered illegal in the NBA. They just very rarely call it to take away a possession from a team. It's just like players taking 3 steps with no dribble.
Regardless of whatever people thought the rule was, you could always take 3 steps in the NBA without getting called for a travel violation. Same with the carry violation. Some players like Rondo, Wade, and Iverson sometimes would carry every single time they touched the ball in a game.