Most Ridiculous Crossovers of the 2012-13 NBA Season
This has been an NBA season chock full of crossovers. It seems we get some backpedaling defender biting the dust or choosing the wrong side of a ball-handler to attack night in and night out.
The result has been some of the sickest crossovers in years, with magnificent ball-handlers coming out of the woodwork in every shape and size.
While the high-flying dunks might get all of the attention, it's the crossovers that take the breath away from a crowd, and that's an accomplishment.
Any old jam can make a crowd of people get on their feet and cheer (although it takes a special one to make the Internet break, something that's happened a few times this season), but you really have to get a defender in a bad place to get a crowd to realize just how horribly he was abused.
Sure, making a guy fall down is an easy indication of a terrific crossover, but sometimes it's the ones who don't fall down, who continually try to keep up with the dribbler but can't, who really give you an idea of how good a ball-handler is.
So I've gone back thorough the annals of time—at least back to October of 2012—in order to pluck out the most dazzling dribbles of this quickly ending NBA season.
Because each ball-handler wasn't quite given his due the first time around, I've decided to give each a reward for putting on a show and punish the defender for their inability to stay afoot.
Honorable Mention: Kemba Walker Has Jelly-Legs
I started out with a list of about 50 different crossovers from this year, half because I couldn't stop watching Youtube clips, and half because I have a hard time making decisions when everything I'm looking at is so awesome.
Going through and seeing this Kemba Walker crossover on Alexey Shved, my thought was that I had to include it. It was in the back of my mind, and suddenly there it is at No. 11.
Why did I feel the need to share this beautiful piece of crossover magic with you guys? His insane jelly-legs.
Kemba somehow gets his back leg to drag along the floor, his right leg is nearly doing in the same thing in the other direction and somehow his front foot is still locked securely to the ground, giving him the stability to step back and drain the shot.
The only conclusion? Kemba Walker is Gumby.
Reward: Rights to the nickname "Gumby" and a nice cold bowl of okroshka made by Shved.
10. George Hill with a Nice Recovery
Stephen Curry has put his stamp on this season with three-pointer after three-pointer, but we always knew he could shoot.
Perhaps one of the biggest improvements that he's made to his game is his ability to handle the ball in an isolation situation.
In this case, Curry steps up to bat in transition with George Hill foolishly stepping out to guard him as he comes into the backcourt. Hill is indecisive with his feet and disaster strikes.
Curry's slight hesitation and head-fake, followed by a herky-jerky crossover, puts Hill on the ground with only one option; he tackles Curry.
I suppose that's a fine way to avoid giving up the free bucket, but if you get crossed to the point where you're playing defense from the ground, it's probably best to just let your abuser run past.
Reward: Three Indy 500 tickets, a brick from the Brickyard finish line and a jug of milk dumped over George Hill's head.
9. Ray Allen's Old, but Still
Compile a top-10 crossover list for each year of the past decade and chances are Jamal Crawford is on each and every one of those lists.
Who knows, there's probably even another one of him crossing over Ray Allen somewhere in that mix. Oh, what do you know, here it is.
This time around, Crawford didn't put Allen on his keister, but he was able to get Allen so turned around that Ryan Hollins accidentally ended up doing something productive on the basketball court.
Crawford's nifty dribbling put Allen on skates, sending him well in the opposite direction, and I like to pretend that it's the reason that Hollins fell down too, not just the fact that Hollins is an atrocious basketball player.
Reward: Any Sixth Man of the Year Award votes going to Allen are now Jamal Crawford's.
8. Pick Yourself Up, Ish
John Wall's return to the court not only set the Washington Wizards off in the right direction, but it also meant the return of a good chunk of the ridiculous crossovers that had been absent from our lives.
The victim this time around was the unassuming Ish Smith, who had no idea what he was doing covering Wall.
Surely Arron Afflalo could have done a better job, or maybe even J.J. Redick.
Ish made the mistake of letting Wall get the first step at an angle in on him, leaving Smith sprinting after him rather than sprinting with him. All Wall has to do at that point is dribble behind his back, change hands and completely change directions, and Smith is on the ground.
Next time let the help defense take care of it; just keep running off in a constant direction.
Reward: John Wall henceforth has the rights to the letters "I" "S" and "H" from Ish Smith's first name. Wall can do whatever he wants with the new letters, while Smith must now go by either Mael Smith, or Larry Smith.
7. Tyreke Spooks Tony
The first few times I went through this video, I wasn't quite as impressed as I should have been. It looked like a few nice hesitation moves and a trip to the bucket, but it was so much more than that.
First you've got to realize that Tony Allen, one of the league's preeminent perimeter defenders, is keeping a close eye on Tyreke Evans.
Evans' first little cross move gets Allen completely on his heels. Surprised, Allen then goes to overplay Evans, who quickly realizes what's going on.
One more quick fake to the left and Allen is lunging while Evans is sprinting past him. It really is a thing of beauty.
Reward: Tony Allen has to give one of his Defensive Player of the Year Award votes to Tyreke Evans, third place or higher.
6. Chris Paul Crosses Everybody a Little Bit
You can't have an "assist of the year" list without Chris Paul, and the same is true when putting together a "crossover of the year" list.
Nothing jumps out from this clip upon first watch as being exceptionally noteworthy, but the replay afterward from behind the play gives you an idea of just what's going on.
First there's the spin into and then off Kyrie Irving, forcing him to remain ensnared in DeAndre Jordan's pick. That's a monster of a veteran move.
Then comes the actual crossover, the smooth de-lacing of Samardo Samuels, all followed up with the subtle fake pass to Blake Griffin, leaving Anderson Varejao completely indecisive.
Three veteran moves, two points, one silly crossover.
Reward: A free Anderson Varejao wig, a Jamaican flag from Samardo Samuels and the right to be the next member of Uncle Drew's old team.
5. The Curry Shake?
Every summer some NBA big man spends time working on his game with Hakeem Olajuwon. Perhaps Stephen Curry has given him a call as well, or at least taken a look at getting the Dream Shake into his repertoire.
Curry, dangerous in transition as we've already learned here today, takes the ball into Gary Neal's chest, fakes the spin move and rotates back to where he was. At that point all he's got to do is a quick little crossover and he's got a clear path to an open shot.
Neal made the opposite mistake that George Hill made when covering a streaking Curry. Instead of stepping up, he let Curry come to him and make all the decisions.
From that point on, Curry was in the driver's seat, and everything that Neal did was purely reactionary.
Reward: Gregg Popovich must use the "Hack-A-Curry" strategy in one future playoff game.
4. I Prefer the Kyrie Shake
While the Curry Shake may have been pretty, the Kyrie Irving Shake is downright beautiful.
Both games when Irving matched up with Damian Lillard were barn-burners, with Irving and Lillard going tit-for-tat every step of the way.
This one came in the second game between the two teams (Cleveland won), as Irving faked a complete spin right, then left, then went all the way to the right for a banker.
Did Irving travel a bit? No doubt. That doesn't change the fact that there was nothing Lillard could do to stop Irving from scoring.
Reward: Kyrie Irving is now eligible for the 2013 Rookie of the Year Award.
3. 'Tween the Legs
James Harden has had a handful of these ridiculous moves throughout the season, but it's surprising that his best, and one of the best crossovers of the year, is this sloppily beautiful.
Harden almost never has secure footing, he seems surprised that he's even able to thread the ball between his own legs and the shot he eventually takes barely gets off before he lands, but it was every bit as beautiful as a super-smooth Chris Paul crossover.
For most of his trip down the floor, Harden looks like a baby giraffe learning how to walk, but he's somehow completely under control the entire time.
He's mastered the crossover, he's a pro with the Euro-step, so I'm gonna go ahead and don this one the clodhopper.
Reward: Cheesesteaks for life from Jrue Holiday, while Thaddeus Young must care for Harden's beard every time he comes to Philadelphia, or whatever city Young may be in at the time.
2. Get out the Wheelchair Again
When Joe Johnson started out with his decimation of Paul Pierce, it seemed as if he had no idea what he was doing with his dribble. Lucky for Johnson, Pierce was equally clueless.
He starts out getting the ball in the corner and going forth with a few probing crossovers. When nothing really comes of that, he simply gets low and dribbles close to the ground.
For whatever reason, Pierce decides to go after the ball, regardless of the fact that it's about two inches off the ground.
Pierce lunges with his hands, his legs go out from under him, and all Johnson has to do at that point is stand up and dribble on by as Pierce hits the ground and his legs flail like Bambi sliding across the frozen pond.
Reward: Joe Johnson receives all the pudding that Paul Pierce was supposed to get at the old folk's home this year.
1. The Downfall of Brandon Knight
Brandon Knight has had a rough year. If we look back and remember this year with a highlights package, it becomes incredibly evident that he was the butt of this year's abuse.
Much like Timofey Mozgov was the most-played poster in the 2011 season, Knight will go down as the most-abused player of 2013, and it all started with the Rising Stars Challenge.
Kyrie Irving seemed like he had something to prove going up against Knight, so he broke out an array of dribbles that could get him charged for abuse in about 16 different states. Lucky for Irving, everything's legal in Texas.
Eventually Knight gets bumped out a bit too far back, so Irving quickly steps back and drains a jumper over the falling Knight.
Reward: Every video of DeAndre Jordan dunking over Brandon Knight must officially be photoshopped so that it is now Kyrie Irving dunking over Brandon Knight. Knight must name his first two children "Uncle" and "Drew."