Allen Iverson's 5 Best Crossovers
Determining what are Allen Iverson's five best crossovers is not an easy task. Allen Iverson stepped into the NBA dominating at the offensive end of the floor. One of his most powerful offensive tools was Allen Iverson's lighting fast crossover. Allen Iverson's crossover had the ability to make the most seasoned defenders look like grade school ballers. Allen Iverson's crossover had the uncanny ability of opening up just enough space for him to have his way on offense. So, how do we choose Allen Iverson's five best crossovers? We would have to base his five best crossovers on the caliber of defensive talent Iverson was able to perform the crossover on. Here are Allen Iverson's five best crossovers.
- Breaking Kobe's ankles. During the 1998-1999 season, Allen Iverson and his Philadelphia 76ers faced off against the Western powerhouse Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant was just beginning to discover the type of player he would become. This was Allen Iverson's time, however. Iverson toyed with Kobe by dribbling the ball with his left hand, baiting Kobe to reach it. Once Kobe reached for the ball, Iverson crossed him over with a behind-the-back crossover, creating the space needed to drain the outside jumper. Welcome to the NBA young man. We can't hold too much against Bryant, seeing as how he's the best player in the league as of 2010.
- Besting Brandon. For those of you that don't know, Terrel Brandon was one of the better defensive guards during the 1997 season. Allen Iverson must not have received that memo. Allen Iverson implemented that stutter crossover that would make him infamous in years to come. He acted like he was going to the left. He purposely slowed the maneuver down, making Terrel Brandon believe that he would continue to go left. As Terrel Brandon tried to reposition himself, Allen quickly crossed the ball back to the right opening and up the lane for an easy layup.
- Marbury who. Both Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury were considered two of the most explosive scoring guards of their generation. Either one of them could put up insane offensive numbers on any given night. But, tonight was Allen Iverson's night to have Marbury nursing his ankles. During a 1997 game versus the Minnesota Timberwolves, Allen Iverson showed just who the better ball handler was between himself and Marbury. Allen Iverson dribbled the ball through his legs to the right. Then he dribbled the ball to his left. A quick stutter step and crossover later, Marbury was wondering how he ended up at the freethrow line while Iverson scored an easy two in the paint.
- Wake up Reggie. OK, OK, so maybe Reggie Miller wasn't known for his stellar defensive performances. But, he was six foot seven inches tall with a pretty impressive wingspan. Even with all those advantages, Allen Iverson was able to go around Reggie Miller like a student driver around those little orange cones. Iverson's crossover was so bad that Reggie ended up at the three point line while Iverson had the entire base line to himself. Talk about free points. It was as if it had gotten to the point to where the guy guarding Iverson just gave up on defense in the interest of his ankles.
- Iverson mixes MJ. Even the greatest player the NBA has ever seen had his difficulties in guarding the Answer. For a young guard in the league, the dreamt of being able to face off against MJ and get the best of him is often a well-played fantasy. Well, in 1997, Iverson may not have bested his Airness, but he did give him a sick crossover for the history books. With a cross over to the right hand, back through the legs to the left, and one final crossover back to the right, Iverson made Jordan lose his balance just enough to get a good shot over him. The greatest defensive guard of all time couldn't even contain Iverson on the offensive end of the floor.