In the game of basketball there is nothing like witnessing an ankle-breaker. Dunks are cool, but there is something about watching a defender surrender to gravity and falling on the court after a vicious crossover. Whether you fight it to this day, we have all been victims.
I decided to count the 30 best ankle breakers in NBA history. This whole list could have been made up of Allen Iverson crossovers but that wouldn’t be fair. Note: it is near impossible to ever come up with a perfect ankle-breaker list…
Honorable Mention: MJ’s Last Shot on Bryon Russell
MJ’s last shot as a Chicago Bull was a storybook ending. The move and the shot is everything you dream of as a kid, crossing over a defender with seconds on the clock and draining the shot to win the game. Unfortunately, MJ’s competitive pride drove him to return to league a couple years later in D.C. Before I am slayed for only including this as an honorable mention, this move can be number one on any list, so to make things fun and competitive, I decided to leave it off.
Honorable Mention #2: Tim Hardaway Killer Crossovers
This is about individual crossover moments that happened in games, but Tim Hardaway revolutionized the crossover dribble and used it very effectively. I had to pay homage to one of the greatest to ever do it. His crossover was built on speed and power and the way he dribbled, going through one leg and bringing the ball across his body while running full speed is incredible. However, I decided to let the legend take a seat on this one. Just enjoy the video below.
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30. Jamal Crawford Loses Lance Stephenson
Jamal Crawford made Lance look silly with this move. DeAndre Jordan screen or not, Lance was still heading in the other direction.
29. Deron Williams Crosses Kirk Hinrich
I miss the old D-Will when he played for the Jazz. He was perhaps the best point guard in the league for sometime a few years back. His crossover was/is wicked because he uses so much of his upper body strength that other guards do not have. Kirk Hinrich had no chance.
28. Dwyane Wade Makes O.J. Mayo Collide with Teammate and Falls
The behind-the-leg crossover has been a signature move for Dwyane Wade over the years and O.J. felt the wrath on this one after colliding with his teammate and falling.
27. Carmelo Anthony Crosses Vince Carter Out of Bounds
Carmelo has one of the craftiest handles in the NBA and is very sneaky when he uses his crossover. Vince wounds up out of bounds somehow after the end of the play.
26. Kevin Durant Makes Sasha Pavlovic Take a Seat
No one expects someone as tall as Kevin Durant to have handle like he does. His arms are extremely long and you would guess that an NBA athlete could predict what would happen, but that wasn’t the case with Sasha Pavlovic, who took a seat during the play.