Latest News, NBA / Jan 25, 2012 / 1:00 pm

The Top 5 Crossovers In The NBA

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford, Dime #31

Paul George was ashamed. He had to be. Garbage time, everyone ready to go home, just waiting on those seconds to peel off the clock and then he gets dropped. This was probably the first time in recorded history that a player went on Twitter after the fact and tried defending himself. Paul, just admit it. The rook got you. Norris Cole dabbled the salt shaker on you and you went stumbling five feet backwards.

There’s a reason why so many readers argued over whether this move we showcased in Smack was legal, or if it was even nice. Besides the dunk, no other play in basketball has the potential to thrill like the crossover does. Ask George or Cole.

On Monday night, I watched Jamal Crawford go off for 26, his best game as a Blazer. As up and down as one of the game’s premier sixth men has been this season (eight single-digit scoring games, five games with at least 20-plus), anyone that has the nickname J-Crossover has the potential to ignite the crowd, so much so that when I broke down the 10 best crossovers ever, Crawford made the list. This is nothing new. Back in our HoopsTV days, I remember asking on forums if someone could shed some light on Crawford highlights from high school. He could always dance.

There are guards all over the league who can shake. Ben Gordon has the sneakiest handle in the league. Kyrie Irving already has my new favorite spin move. I said back before the season started that Tyreke Evans might have the best all-around handles in the league. But the best crossovers? A few guys stand out above the rest.

Here are the players who own the five best crossovers in the game today.

*** *** ***

5. John Wall
I thought about Baron Davis, but he’d rather shoot threes than break someone down off the dribble. This isn’t 2005 anymore. I thought about Tony Parker but he’s unleashed just enough of an outside game that he isn’t cracking people as much as he used to back in the day. I didn’t really want to put John Wall here for a few reasons. 1) He’s barely had a year of pro ball in him. And 2) We don’t want to make a habit out of hyping him up too much. He’s going to be great (he’s already started making the jump in the past two weeks), but just needs a little more time. Yet at the end of the day, for everything he’s still learning, Wall definitely has one of the best crossovers in the league. It’s the Jason Kidd 2.0: He took what Kidd was great at – going coast-to-coast and changing directions at full speed – and added one of those boosters from The Fast And The Furious.

If you read our cover story on Wall back in issue #66, you’d know I spent a ton of time with the Wizards’ leading man this summer. We talked about his issues growing up, his insane 21st birthday parties and the Wizards’ struggles. But perhaps more than anything, I wanted to know how he pulled off the moves he does: the full-speed crossover and the spin move. His answers were simple: I only react. I don’t plan moves and I don’t really practice them. It’s all reading the defense and reacting off of it.

Wall actually might have the best stationary cross in the game. His ability to go from standstill to full speed off one side-to-side dribble (as Evan Turner finds out here) is almost unparalleled.

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  • http://www.dimemag.com Slick Ric

    I gotta say:
    Jamal crawford
    Deron williams
    Derrick Rose
    cp3(he may have the best dribble but I havent seen him cross as many people over as the first three.)
    Dwade

  • http://www.dimemag.com Slick Ric

    honorable mention: Tyreke, I havent seen tyreke cross as many people as viciously as those other guys but he does have nice handles.

  • Jah

    From their NBA body of work:

    Jamal Crawford
    Deron Williams
    Dwyane Wade

    “…and boom goes the dynamite.”

  • http://www.remixcomics.com NoDizzel

    All those guys have some sick crossovers. BUT none of them have made people penguin slide like D-Wade has

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tv-2bK_v7NY&feature=related

  • stillanetsfan

    i agree accept dwill has forgotten how to protect the ball on his cross this year

  • nbaman

    Since iverson wants to come back he should still be number 1

  • north

    other than Crawford who’s crossover is so smooth none of these guys stand up to the original killer crossover from Tim Hardaway. This article made me go watch a few clips from back in the day. Timmy didn’t rock guys, he straight up hypnotized them.

  • Tee

    Jamal hands down

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    Lets make one thing clear, it does not count as a crossover if you use a pick/screen to do it. Nor does it count on a fast break and all you did was change direction. You have to be one on one with a player and attacking.

    with that said
    Rose has left many….many NBA players sitting on their back pockets in his short time in the NBA. Andre Miller, Tyreke Evans, Eddie House, Rajon Rondo, just to name a few. Which to me puts him on the top 3.

    But Deron Williams has the best crossover to me bar none. His isn’t about speed, it’s about actually fooling people.

    Crawford does it most times just to be flashy. He isn’t actually going anywhere. Also Jamal has went the allen Iverson route now, where he is basically just a jump shooter and doesn’t really have that crossover anymore or doesn’t use it. I cant remember the last time i saw a Crawford highlight of him shaking someone.

    DWade’s is a lot like Roses. HE crosses very hard and attacks, but he too has eased up on the dribble moves and now just settles for jumpers or coming off screens and carrying the ball on a crossover (which the refs don’t call) to the basket.

  • George Kanteis

    I like the order, but the top 10 crossover’s from Deron had to be in the wrong order. I think any cross against Derek Fisher makes it less impressive just because of how slow the guy is.

  • ak spitta

    anyone see d-wills cross tonight oh man

  • stefan

    @ ak spitta

    d-will has a top 10 crossovers in every game. last night he killed them again. it’s how he creates himself the space, by using crossovers a lot that is not matchable by others. he doesn’t do ample moves all the time, but he fools everybody on small spots of the floor.

    d-will undoubtedly deserves to be at the top of this list.

  • trollne1

    I gotta agree with everything Chicagorilla said. Rose does only one, maybe two max, crossover though. Not that he needs to do multiple fancy crossovers to get by his man. Just wanna see him play with the rock once in a while.

  • http://www.bettlejuiceXs3.com Chicagorilla

    The craziest part about Deron Williams being so nasty with his crossovers is that he wasn’t really that great of a ballhandler at U of I.

    He used to get his pocket picked a lot or fumble the ball because of pressure. Now Deron (with the help of NBA rules) has learned how to back people off him with that deadly crossover.