It’s time to put your defender on skates, just like Kevin Durant did to Daniel Gafford! Today we’re going to share a simple move that’s highly effective: the crossover. It’s been used to great impact by greats from Michael Jordan to Allen Iverson. So we’ll show you how to do a crossover, provide some pro tips to really sell it, and even reveal some of the best drills to practice your crossover. Grab your outdoor or indoor basketball, and let’s get after it!
First things first: a crossover is a move used by a basketball player to switch the ball from one hand to the other while dribbling (left to right, or right to left). The crossover can be executed in a variety of ways, including in front of your body, between your legs, or even behind your back. The general idea is to fake out your defender to get them to believe you’re going in one direction, and then quickly reversing to go in the other.
One of the most famous NBA players known for his crossover move is Allen Iverson – widely considered one of the best ball handlers in the history of the game. Here’s what was so unique about the AI crossover and made it so unpredictable for defenders:
Watch some of the best crossovers of Allen Iverson’s career here:
Michael Jordan’s crossover was also famous for leaving defenders frozen as he blew by to the basket. Here are a few keys to his crossover, in addition to displaying confidence, pure speed, and solid execution:
Other NBA players will killer crossovers include: Steph Curry, who regularly uses the crossover move to create space for his deadly jump shot; Kobe Bryant who used it to kick off his acrobatic drives; and Kyrie Irving who brought his own creative flair to it.
WNBA players have the crossover in their bags as well. Veteran Angel McCoughtry, known for her offensive versatility and ability to score, uses her crossover to get past defenders and finish in the paint. WNBA All-Star Arike Ogunbowale includes the crossover in a lot of her combo moves outside the paint to get open threes and mid-range shots.
Now that you’ve seen the end result and been inspired to add this new skill to your bag, here are the simple steps to do it.
Here are the basic steps to execute a crossover in basketball:
Here’s a more visual walk through on how to do the AI crossover:
Here are a few key details to keep in mind when trying to sell a crossover:
Remember that a good crossover move is not only about the move itself, but also about how you execute it, and how you use it in the game!
Here are a few drills you can use to practice your crossover move:
With this one you’re just going to get a few reps in to get a feel for passing the ball back and forth between your hands, and getting low enough. Start with the ball in your dominant hand and simply practice switching the ball from one hand to the other using your crossover move. When you pass the ball out of each hand, use that empty hand to touch the ground to ensure you’re getting low enough to sell the move. Go slowly at first for about 10 reps, and then go as quickly as possible, until you lose control of the ball.
OK now let’s add a little bit of movement. You’re going to go from the baseline to half court using only your crossover – don’t take any pound dribbles in between. Do this slowly the first time. Then do it where you’re trying to be as quick as possible on your cross. Then do it where you start high and go into the crossover, and start low and go into the crossover.
Up next, you’re going to keep going from the baseline to half court but this time you’re going to freestyle with 2-3 combo moves. However, every move has to end with a crossover. Run that through 3 times.
Now you’re going to get some experience using the move in a bit more of a game-like situation. You’ll play 1 vs. 1, the catch is, everything has to start out of a cross over – i.e. that has to be your first move. So the defense knows it’s coming, which will force you to sell it even further. You can use multiple cross overs back to back, and set it up in different ways. If you don’t use a crossover, you don’t get a bucket even if you score. Play up to 5 points (all ones), make it, take it.
Remember you can do a crossover in front of you, between your legs, or behind you – the goal is just to get the ball from one side to the other as quickly as possible, after selling the idea you’re going to opposite way. So you can also run through the above drills using each of those variations.
Now you’re equipped to use the crossover movement anytime you want. This simple but effective move should help you shake defenders. Up next, explore how to pump fake in basketball – a great move for beginners and pros alike, that’s easy to pick up and implement.