An excellent crossover move is equally as exciting as a thundering dunk, beautiful pass, or a block, depending on your personal preferences and what you like the most about the game of basketball. When ti comes to ball-handling and brilliant crossover moves, nobody did it better as Tim Hardaway back in the day. Some even called him the inventor of a modern crossover that we know today, that a lot of players in the NBA use to get past their defenders while at the same time provide excitement for the fans.
There were numerous great ball handlers throughout the NBA, and there are fierce debates on who he had the best crossover. Names like Allen Iverson, Kyrie Irving, Jamal Crawford, Jason Williams are just a few that used that move extensively throughout their careers. In an interview for Basketball Forever, Tim Hardaway talked about this topic that is often bringing a lot of discussions and said that in his mind, he has the best crossover move in NBA history.
“I do feel I have the greatest crossover of all-time. That is the way I feel. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I do believe I have the greatest crossover of all-time.”
Hardaway continued explaining how, in the late ’80s, when he started playing in the NBA, a small guard like him needed to have a go-to move that would create an opportunity to score either for him or his teammates. Even during his NCAA days, Hardaway was recognizable because of his tremendous quickness and ability to handle the ball. Still, when he came to the NBA, his move became even more popular with kids across the world starting to imitate what Hardaway was doing on the court.
“Back then, we needed to have a move. It was all push and show, hand checking, and stuff, and you needed to have a move to get past a guy because if you didn’t, you had to rely on your quickness. I had one move that I know I could go to if I need to go to. In between the legs, cross in front of you and going to the hole, making a layup. I had you this way, but I beat you that way. It was something about my crossover that everybody took a liking too, and they are still teaching that to this day. I’m not saying I had the first crossover, but I do say it’s the best and greatest to me.”
Numerous players that came after Hardaway had the crossover move as a part of their offensive repertoire and made it even more popular than it originally was. Hardaway believes he made a tremendous impact on young guards who were working on their ball-handling and wanted to develop a move that will enable them to have an advantage over their defenders.
“I think I paid the way for a lot of guys to work on their ball-handling and understanding that ball-handling gets them to the rim and gets them open for a jump shot. Young players watched me and saw what I was doing, and it helped their games out.”