LeBron James, Monta Ellis and the 20 Coolest Handshakes in Sports

K BFeatured ColumnistApril 11, 2011

LeBron James, Monta Ellis and the 20 Coolest Handshakes in Sports

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    The handshake is not just a universal greeting gesture. It is a measure of a man.

    Too weak and it's assumed you stay at home on Friday nights watching Sex and the City reruns while cuddling with your kitten. Respect is immediately lost and the man card is thrown in the ocean, never to be seen again.

    In the world of sports, it is an art form that is carefully crafted in the locker room, team bus or hotel.

    When athletes are composing their creative masterpieces, I am assuming they use this one as a blueprint to strive for. Although they fall short, no one can ever recreate such magic.

    These are still awesome. Enjoy.

No. 20: Monta Ellis and Guy in Jacket

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    Some secret handshakes are hard to pull off because of their complexity. I think this one takes the cake since one of the members involved has to make a one-handed, over-the-shoulder shot from a tunnel entryway.

    You know you are cool when you make an absurd shot and then do a supremely chill double-point handshake with one of your buddies.

    Someone do me a favor and interpret the dialogue that was exchanged. I would love to know one word that was said.

No. 19: LeBron James and Mario Chalmers

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    The only reason this made the list is because I couldn't find anymore cool handshakes.

    The double hip thrust is a perfect microcosm of this Heat squad. 


No. 18: Carey Price and PK Subban

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    I think this is cool because I know if I tried this maneuver on the hockey rink, I would probably slip and give myself a concussion.

No. 17: Gary Neal

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    This one is cool because he is giving handshakes to ghosts, much like the Wayans Brothers film The Sixth Man.

    Christ, I am really reaching. It was hard finding cool handshakes on video even though I know there have been tons created over the years (Milton Bradley and Nick Swisher's Captain Morgan pose, for example). Bud Selig and his MLB YouTube policy can suck it.

    Also, Andrew Bogut is a funny guy if you didn't know.

No. 16: Pablo Sandoval with Teammates

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    The Brian Wilson handshake is the coolest for the simple fact that Brian Wilson is the coolest.

    I don't think Giants broadcaster Mychael Urban has ever been cool enough to create a secret handshake with someone else. 

    Kung Fu Panda couldn't even muster the strength to let this guy have one shining moment. Mychael deserved the denial since he showed constant disappointment in Pablo's creations.

    This guy doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of being cool with his name spelled Mychael.


No. 15: Justin Morneau with Teammates

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    The best one begins at the :45 mark with Tsuyoshi Nishioka because the obligatory bow with the Japanese teammate is always the coolest. Always.

No. 14: Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Spilborghs

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    CarGo won the batting title last year, and created a hilarious secret handshake with teammate Ryan Spilborghs.

    This is honestly one of the more awkward things I have ever seen between two men, but the pure joy on their faces makes it cool for me. 

    Photo from UPI.com

No. 13: LeBron James and Teammates

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    If you made it this far after those last few lame ones, thank you for your patience. We are all up hill now. 

    Thanks to cleveland.com, I finally have the age-old question of how LeBron and his teammates came up with all these handshakes. 

    I got heartsick and nostalgic watching LeBron when he used to be cool.

    Watching this is like stumbling upon great pictures you had with an ex-girlfriend. I enjoy it for a second and then remember when she cheated on me by deciding to get with two other dudes and take her talents to South Beach.

    And this isn't technically a handshake, but it must be watched. Immediately.

No. 12: Mark McGwire with Teammates

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    Skip to 1:34 for the handshake.

    It's a miracle that Mark McGwire is on a countdown that involves being cool, but I can't argue with the fact that he comes up with the manliest handshakes around.

    The fact that I couldn't find video of him doing it with Sammy Sosa is one of the more disappointing times in my life.

    Thanks VH1 for the video.

No. 11: Geovany Soto and Ronny Cedeno

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    Geovany Soto, with teammate Ronny Cedeno, proves that anyone can create a lightning quick handshake, even if you enjoy your last dance with Mary Jane.

    Thumbs up to the best Cubs team I have personally ever seen assembled. I don't remember this team getting swept in the 2008 National League Division Series because I have learned to block out negative things that happen to my favorite team. I hardly remember the Cubs playing in the MLB.

No. 10: Monta Ellis and Corey Maggette

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    According to the Boston Globe: In 2009, the NBA supposedly issued a no-handshake policy for fear that the H1N1 virus would spread. Instead, they recommended fist bumps.

    The NBA denied this report, but allegedly Monta Ellis and Corey Maggette only heard the first story, so they responded in their own way by having their handshake be a funny dance together.

No. 9: Johan Santana with Teammates

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    According to Deadspin, Johan Santana had a secret handshake with every Mets player back in 2009.

    My trust for Deadspin goes about as far as I can throw Ndamukong Suh, but if you watch the video you will see they are surprisingly correct.

    My personal favorite is the curtain-call handshake.

No. 8: The Rock and Chris Jericho

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    Before the Rock was a terrible actor in terrible movies, he was a terrible actor and a great wrestler who was cool enough to create this segment with Chris Jericho.

    The amount of homo-erotic tension in this video is suffocating.

No. 7: Florida State Seminoles Baseball

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    It's hard to pick a favorite, but I will go with the very first one with Brandon Relchert and Ruairi O'Connor.

    It made me want to go out and buy a Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots toy. 

No. 6: EMU Basketball

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    The coolest comes at the :07 mark.

    Please notice the large white guy dancing in the corner.

    Viewer discretion is advised. They say a bad word that I am sure is rarely uttered in college locker room.

No. 5: JR Smith and Scott Hastings

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    JR Smith is the second coolest guy in the NBA. The first is Nuggets color commentator Scott Hastings.

    I am completely basing that fact on this video. 

No. 4: Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny: The Bang-Bang Dance

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    I always thought the bang-bang dance was something entirely different until I saw this video.

    Matt Duchene explained how this awesome dance was created on the Colorado Avalanche's official website:

    “He and I watch the TV show ‘How I Met Your Mother.’ It’s a dance that Marshall on the show does. He sings a song and we call it the Bang Bang Dance. You can find it on YouTube. We started doing it because it was such a funny episode and we were doing it all the time, so we started doing it after wins. We started doing it at the end of last season right when that episode came out. I think it started in St. Louis actually and it’s been a good tradition since. We get excited to do it after wins.”

No. 3: Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco

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    Simple, yet incredible. The bashing of these two men's forearms created such a violent collision that it caused the earthquake in the 1989 World Series.

    My friend who is a Cardinals fan and McGwire fan said it best: "I can't think of an actual name for it other than awesome."

    Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images

No. 2: UC Irvine Baseball

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    Halfway through watching I was going to make this a dishonorable mention and say how it was a poor man's version of Florida State.

    Then I saw the very last handshake and my world was turned upside down.

    Best quote: "We are we both kind of weird people and, uh, we like to do weird things."

No. 1: Steven Gerrard Gets Owned by Small Child

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    In 2008 this tiny Chelsea fan heard that Steven Gerrard was considering playing for Chelsea.

    But after Gerrard decided to stay with Liverpool, this little tyke took exception and embarrassed Gerrard in the highest degree.

    The coolness factor of this little kid is at one million. The adult that told this kid to do this deserves a large sum of money.

Dishonorable Mention: Kevin Love and Wes Johnson

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    Don't be mistaken. I love this. It just has to be give a dishonorable mention because I have never seen such a failed handshake in my life.

Dishonorable Mention: Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson

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    If you check out my slideshow, the top 10 worst dance moves in sports history, then you will know where I stand on this current Green Bay Packers team and their inability to do anything cool, ever.

    The fact that this video has gotten somewhat popular with the Packers fanbase perfectly represents how boring their franchise is right now. 

    And why is it in slow motion??

    If you scroll down to read the comments about this outstandingly normal handshake you will be absolutely flabbergasted.