And of course, some features of the game are those things that make it so special and breathtaking, like those posterizing dunks and mouth watering blocks, putting everybody on their feet even if they’re watching the game at home.
But one of the fan’s favorite things definitely has to be the ankle breaking crossover the most talented players put against subpar defenders or even elite defensive players, constantly making the highlights whenever a guy gets knocked down to the floor due to a crafty move by an offensive player. Today, we’ll list the top 10 ankle breakers in NBA history.
10. John Wall
The 26-year-old is just about to enter his 8th season in the NBA and keeps improving on a yearly basis in pretty much every single category, leading the Wizards to the playoffs despite not having much of a support cast other than Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat.
But, even if you think Wall is just a passer, you’re definitely mistaken, as his incredible speed to take the ball from one side of the court to the other makes him a complete ankle breaker thanks to his ability to stop short and fake defenders.
9. Isaiah Thomas
Thomas’ defense is questionable at best, and it wasn’t until this year when he finally took his game to a whole new dimension as one of the clutchest scorers in the NBA, and most of it came due to his ability to create space between his defenders.
And he does that precisely with his ankle breaking skills, being one of the craftiest guys you’ll see on an NBA court, making the most of his limited height to be the fastest guy on the court and improving his handles on a nightly basis.
8. Chris Paul
Paul completely mastered his ankle breaking thanks to his signature move of attacking the rim to stop short and spin in sort of a dream shake manner, making defenders fall (literally) for the fake before scoring.
On top of that, his intelligence, quickness and of course, top-notch handles make him one of the hardest guys to defend in the league nowadays, as you can’t give him a single inch of space or he’s definitely going to make you pay for it with an assist.
7. Rajon Rondo
Rondo’s prime is far behind him and he’s been way less than impressive over the last 3 years or so since coming back from a season-ending injury with the Boston Celtics, creating more trouble than actually helping his teams.
Still, when he’s focused, he’s definitely the most locked down player in the court, and he’s constant ball fakes and signature move where he seems like he’s going to pass the ball behind his back and continues attacking the rim has made a lot of guys fall down on all fours.
6. Steph Curry
Well, Curry’s more known as a three point shooter than a true point guard, but truth to be told, one of the reasons why he’s always open is the fact that he has a great ability to create space with his dribble and his quick release.
Steph has some sick handles and if you don’t believe us, just ask Chris Paul, who got completely humiliated a couple of seasons ago in a matchup against Golden State, giving Curry a spot in our ankle breaking list.
5. Jamal Crawford
This guy has always been an instant offense type of player, and he’s perhaps one of the greatest substitutes in the history of the game due to his ability to put a lot of points in very little time and lead the second unit alongside not so great offensive players.
And one of the main reasons of “JCrossover’”s success has been his ankle breaking skills, as he constantly put defenders on skates with his shaky moves and ability to draw contact, making him the NBA historic leader in 4 point plays.
4. Tim Hardaway
This guy wasn’t called Mr. Crossover out of anywhere, as Hardaway made a career out of making guys fall on their backs thanks to his incredible handles and hesitations, being perhaps the strongest part of his all-around game.
He had perhaps the fastest crossover in the history of the game, and when he was isolated and got the ball between his legs, you knew you were going to get completely embarrassed and probably getting a taste of the floor.
3. Michael Jordan
Jordan is one of the most underrated dribblers in the history of the league as he was more known for his clutchness, his athleticism and his defense, but his handles were simply off the charts.
In fact, Jordan was completely unstoppable when he decided to stop short and put the ball on the floor, shaking defenders with great ease to go exactly to the spot he wanted to get before pulling up his shot.
2. Kyrie Irving
Uncle Drew constantly puts an offensive clinic, and part of it is due to his incredible handles, being one of the greatest dribblers this game has ever seen due to his hesitation moves and his ability to score in a huge variety of ways.
Irving is just entering his prime and he could might as well become the best dribbler in the history of the game, thanks to his frenetic speed to change directions and completely fool even the best defenders in the league.
1. Allen Iverson
And the golden spot of the podium goes to The Answer himself, the guy that was able to put Michael Jeffrey Jordan on skates during his very rookie season, just to disrespectfully shoot over Ty Lue and then step over him a couple of seasons later.
This guy actually revolutionized the way this move was made, starting the crossover way higher than most guys and making it even more impressive and hard to contain, creating a lot of space between him and pretty much every guy you put on him to try and stop him.