We’ll call this the list Gary McGhee loves to hate…
I’ve been on both sides of the coin before. It’s the embarrassing times you remember. One in particular stands out for me. College. Sophomore year. Preseason. Every fall semester at a D-III college is always the same: there are the returning players and then there are dozens of kids from high school, all coming together and all believing they’ll be one of the three or four kids who actually make the team. They all have some game and they’re all cocky.
It’s during this first month when emotions are highest, the competition fiercest. I picked the wrong time to get cracked. The gym was flooded with wannabe players. I jumped too hard at a wing player, and fell backwards as he went by me. Kids on the sidelines nearly rushed the court. The rest of the afternoon, I was in a quiet rage.
You gotta laugh about it. That’s all you can do. If you’ve never been dropped before, chances are you never really played. Even the best players in the world get put on their ass, some just worse than others. That’s this list, the all-time greatest crossovers in NBA history. As I did with the greatest assists of all time, and the greatest alley-oops ever, I spent hours researching, reminiscing and watching videos to try to find the very best. Did I? No. That’s literally impossible. But hopefully I came close enough.
Just as those lists did, this list has a few rules:
1) it had to be a crossover, not a shake or a between-the-legs move or an in-and-out… a crossover (this one is hard to stay completely loyal to)
1) it had to be in an NBA game that counted and…
2) the play had to finish in a bucket.
As I’ve always done, this IS NOT a “Honor the best guys in NBA history” list. If someone helped mold and create the crossover, that doesn’t mean he’ll make this list. (I looked and looked, but Isiah Thomas never had a crossover nice enough to make this list… that doesn’t mean he isn’t one of the greatest ballhandlers ever. Same thing with Kevin Johnson, who mastered going through his legs to lose defenders but didn’t have a move that fit the definitions of this list.) If John Crotty laid down the hammer, then he was going to make the cut (luckily he didn’t). I would’ve thrown in Starbury collapsing the Great Wall of China, but that wasn’t necessarily a great shake… it was more Yao just seeing a real offensive move for the first time in his life and his feet didn’t cooperate.
With that, here are the 20 best crossovers in NBA history.
20. TIM HARDAWAY, The Crossover God
Hardaway often gets the credit for developing one of the first real crossover moves: the killer crossover. What made it so deadly was Hardaway created a counter for it. If you sat on the crossover, he’d simply throw it back between his legs and go right by you.