- Mamadou Tall
Smoothest Handle in the Game: Jamal Crawford
When thinking about some of the greatest handles in NBA history who comes to mind?
Allen Iverson? Of course.
Kyrie Irving? Without a doubt.
Tim Hardaway? That between the legs cross was tough.
Pistol Pete? He was a pioneer. He started the wave.
Then you got Jamal Crawford or Jcrossover. Whatever you want to call him, he's up there. He's on that list and he probably has the smoothest looking handle in the history of the NBA. Not the best but the smoothest.
Watch Jamal Crawford dribble and you'll see that his style is like no other. His handle isn't tight and low like Kyrie's or Chris Paul's. Standing at 6'6 with a 6'10 wingspan, Crawford's handle is more out there and less protected than most and that's the beauty in it. His style is less structured and more about extinct and feel. His herky-jerky movements leave defenders panicking and if they reach you know what's coming. A highlight, a body, whatever you call it where you're from; someone is getting embarrassed and put on a mixtape. What makes his handles even more impressive is the fact he never did a single dribbling drill in his life.
Crawford told Business Insider, "It's almost embarrassing because I couldn't tell you a drill to do. Like, I don't do drills at all. I think that's why a lot of people who handle the basketball, I think mine looks different. You know, 'cause I've never done a drill. I've never done 'get to a chair and go through your legs,' or 'get to a spot and a cone and go through your legs or behind your back."
No dribbling drills or working on fundamentals and he was still in the NBA snatching ankles for 19 years. On top of being an incredible ball-handler, Crawford was a bucket in his own right. Crawford established himself as one of the best sixth men in NBA history by winning the award three times. He also became the only player in NBA history to have a 50-point game with four different teams (Bulls, Knicks, Warriors, and Suns). That same night he became the oldest player to score 50 points in a game at 39 years and 20 days old as a member of the Phoenix Suns.
At 40 years old and a free-agent the chances of us seeing Jcrossover play in the NBA are low. In his 19 year career, Crawford gave us numerous highlights of him hitting tough shots or leaving his defenders on the floor looking up for help. He had a prominent role on the Lob City Clippers, one of the most talented teams to never win a championship (a topic for another time).
Let's take a look back at some of his greatest crossovers. Here are 10 of his best pieces of work with the rock in his hands.
10. Jcrossover takes Jesus Shuttlesworth dancing
This was a prime Crawford. Lob City Jcrossover possibly had the best crossover in the league. In and out, behind the back, snatch. Just look at how he did Ray Allen.
9. Crawford Shifts Justin Anderson
Back to basics with this one. A simple left to right cross had Anderson lost.
8. Why is Jonathon Simmons on Skates?
That behind the back snatch is dangerous, especially when it's Jamal Crawford doing it.
7. Crawford Tells Ray Allen to Have a Seat
Ray Allen on this list a second time. They probably got some type of beef we don't know about. I'm telling you those snatchbacks are dangerous when used in the right hands. Just look at how he sits him down.
6. Crawford Makes Lance Dance
That double behind the back is to smooth. Its one thing to get hit, but why foul on a three-point shooter after, just take the L bro.
5. Crawford Has Metta World Peace Lost
World Peace was one of the NBA's best defenders at this time and even he was getting hit.
4. Shake and Bake on Andre Miller
This is hands down one of the toughest moves in NBA history.
3. Rudy Gay's Ankle Gave Out
If you look closely it looks Rudy Gay's ankle gave out. That's just embarrassing.
2. Hello. Good-Bye Wesley Matthews
Behind the back snatch again and then the hesi blow-by. You know it's bad when Matthews starts looking at the ref trying to find something to complain about.
1. Shake and Bake on Kirk Hinrich
This move was so crisp Hinrich was grabbing for air.