When you think of the “crossover dribble” who comes to mind first? I believe it depends on how old your are? For me, the first person I ever saw with a killer crossover was Dwayne Pearl Washington.
I grew up in Ewing Township, New Jersey which is a suburb of Trenton. Now if you know anything about ballers from the Jersey, New York area, we all had handle no matter your size. I had a pretty good crossover myself (if I don’t mind saying so), which I stole from Dwayne Pearl Washington. The first time I saw Pearl play was in 1981 in a high school game between Trenton Central High School and Brooklyn Boys High School (now Boys and Girls High School) at Trenton’s gym. Pearl dropped 50 on the Tornados, but he not only dropped 50, he broke ankles all night long with his low to the ground crossover dribble. The other amazing thing about that game I remember was that I don’t believe he made a basket outside 8 feet. He went to the rack every single time, and they couldn’t stop him. I remember one play where he broke the whole team down, then got to the basket for a layup, but he didn’t take it, then drove back out to the top of the key to start all over again. It was like he was toying with them.
The other player who took the crossover to another level was Tim Hardaway. He was a part of Run TMC out in Golden State with Mitch Richmond and hall of famer Chris Mullin putting on a show. His crossover dribble went between his legs and was very quick. Everybody was talking about and trying to duplicate his “killer crossover” as it was called, on the court.
But with that said, who do you think has the best crossover dribble that you’ve ever seen? I can name a few who I believe should be mentioned, but please, correct me if I’m wrong, and please add to my list. Here goes: Dwayne Pearl Washington, Tim hardaway, Allen Iverson, Dwyane Wade, Kenny Anderson, God Shamgod, Isiah Thomas, Chris Paul, Pete Maravich, Earl “the pearl” Monroe, Derrick Rose, and “Tiny” Nate Archibald.
For current basketball, I believe that Allen Iverson changed how the crossover was done. His crossover was much higher from the ground, and more exaggerated when he brought it back to his other hand which caused defenders to either freeze, or sometimes fall (broke your ankles). In my opinion, he’s actually carrying the ball which is why referees started calling it. The game has changed since I was a youngster, most of the players today in my opinion carry the ball when they dribble (just my opinion). When we were growing up, you had to keep your hand on top of the ball when you dribbled. I remember I developed a spin move then would go behind my back (I stole it from Earl the pearl Monroe), but the refs would call it sometimes saying that I carrying the ball so I only used it on the playground.
If you’re thinking old school, you have to talk about Earl the pearl Monroe, Pete Maravich, and Tiny Nate Archibald just to name a few. I remember Monroe (sometimes called “Black Jesus”) had a spin move and behind the back crossover move. Tiny could simply break you down and score, pass, cross you up, he did it all (Lead the league in scoring and assists in the same season).
The new school has Derrick Rose, D Wade, and Chris Paul. Derrick has the explosive crossover and side step to the basket, while D Wade’s uses his crossover to either pull up his J, or explode to the basket with a dunk.
So who has the best crossover dribble of all time? Who’s your favorite? Who started the crossover dribble? Do you have a crossover dribble? Let me know you thoughts……