The 10 Best Crossover Moves in the NBA

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2012

The 10 Best Crossover Moves in the NBA

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    Other than an earth-shattering dunk, there is no more jaw-dropping play on an NBA court than the ankle-breaking crossover dribble.

    One of the first basic moves taught in youth basketball, the crossover can be equal parts frustrating when done poorly and scintillating when done well.

    Sometimes these breakdowns are to set up a wide-open jumper, while other times it's all about how foolish a player can make his defender look.

    When debating the best ball-handlers in the league, we often focus on a player's overarching ability to avoid turnovers while still providing a strong repertoire of breakdown moves. 

    Here, however, we're just talking one thing—crossovers.

    With that in mind, click through as we name the 10 best crossover moves in the NBA. 

10. Jameer Nelson (PG, Orlando Magic)

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    No one would confuse Jameer Nelson with one of the NBA's elite point guards, but his ball-handling skills have always been underrated. 

    In the accompanying video, he makes defender Jannero Pargo look so bad it feels like a scene from an awful sports movie. As Pargo went tumbling to the ground, I wondered whether I was watching the worst scene in a sports movie since any in The Replacements where Keanu Reeves threw a football.

    Only one problem: This was real life, and Nelson actually made Pargo look that bad on the defensive end. 

9. John Wall (PG, Washington Wizards)

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    Some may argue about John Wall's inclusion over fellow young point guard Kyrie Irving. However, the latter's ball-handling prowess is far more about a cavalcade of moves rather than one go-to guarantee.

    Wall, on the other hand, has a killer crossover that he uses any time he can. 

    Lulling defender Evan Turner asleep in the accompanying video, the Wizards guard uses his defender's hesitance to his advantage and blows right past him for an easy dunk. 

8. Manu Ginobili (SG, San Antonio Spurs)

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    Manu Ginobili has perhaps the least conventional crossover moves in the NBA.

    Instead of using the basic two-handed method that you see every day, the Spurs star's one-handed take on a crossover adds yet another wrinkle to his already-unique game.

    Because it can come from anywhere at almost any moment, you never know when Ginobili is about to unleash the move and soar to the basket—as the Mavericks defense certainly found out in this scenario. 

7. Chris Paul (PG, Los Angeles Clippers)

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    There are few people who deny Chris Paul's status as the NBA's best point guard. However, it's widely understood that his game is one based on precision over being overtly flashy.

    His crossover move, however, shows almost straight-out-of-Rucker-Park levels of flash. 

    In embarrassing Marc Gasol here, Paul tricks the Memphis center twice with his dribble. The first time he uses a step-back to get Gasol off-balance before putting the finishing touches on his defender with a fantastic crossover.

    The best part about Paul? He could have probably dribbled right back out and done the same thing to Gasol without the center having a chance at stopping him. 

6. Rajon Rondo (PG, Boston Celtics)

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    Though Rajon Rondo's passing ability is his main calling card as a player, he's also one of the best ball-handlers in the NBA.

    And, as Tyson Chandler found out in the accompanying video, Rondo seemingly makes slight work of defenders with his crossover on a regular basis. 

    The Celtics point guard's crossover lacks the unbelievable flair of his ball-fake, but the move's quickness is the key to its success. 

5. Dwyane Wade (SG, Miami Heat)

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    Dwyane Wade has seemingly been on these type of lists ever since he entered the NBA, and even at 30 years old, he's still worthy of a top-five spot. 

    The once-legendary explosion has subsided a bit, but he's more fundamental with the crossover and knows how and when to deploy it effectively. 

    It also doesn't hurt that Wade has one of the best shoulder fakes in the league, which all but negates any quickness he's lost. 

    With a screen on his left side and a Wade crossover oncoming, defender DeMar DeRozan had no chance here. 

4. Russell Westbrook (PG, Oklahoma City Thunder)

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    It seems like every time you blink when watching the Thunder, Russell Westbrook is dashing to the paint for a score or passing the ball out of a successful drive.

    For that, Oklahoma City fans can thank Westbrook's killer crossover. Not all defenders get completely embarrassed like Luke Ridnour did here, but the move is nearly unstoppable when Westbrook uses it correctly. 

3. Jamal Crawford (SG, Los Angeles Clippers)

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    If you want to how fantastic Jamal Crawford's crossover move truly is, look no further than his nickname: J-Cross. 

    Though it sometimes gets him in trouble, Crawford's ridiculous handle gives him the ability to break down almost any defender at will. In this case, he's working against Dwight Howard for a fourth-quarter score to get the Blazers within two points. 

    This particular crossover is not as awe-inspiring as his legendary evisceration of Ray Allen, but the fact that Crawford can essentially pull something like that off in his sleep is mystifying. 

2. Derrick Rose (PG, Chicago Bulls)

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    For Derrick Rose, his crossover almost mirrors the point guard's style of play perfectly.

    Quick. Violently explosive. Unstoppable. With a move that's so consistently effective, it's tough to not put him atop this list—especially considering its fundamental soundness.

    Though it will be interesting to see if his crossover will be as effective when he comes back from injury, there is no denying Rose currently has one of the most captivating moves in the NBA. 

1. Deron Williams (PG, Brooklyn Nets)

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    He's been languishing in relative obscurity for nearly two years with the Nets, but Deron Williams' handles will hit the big stage this season when the franchise moves to Brooklyn.

    Williams not only has the best crossover in the NBA heading into the 2012-13 season, he has the best move since Allen Iverson in his prime. 

    A crisp drop of his dribble shoulder sets up his defender before a lightning-fast dribble leaves Williams' opposition in the dust and wondering what just happened. 

    In this video, Williams makes Matt Barnes, a respected perimeter defender, look like Nikoloz Tskitishvili. 

    Just pure, unadulterated fluidity of motion here. 


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