NBA Breakdown: Perfect Crossover Dribbling Technique

Crossover dribbling is a basketball move where players are switching the ball between their hands while changing the direction of their movement. This is one of the first discovered, and one of the most used dribbling moves in basketball history. It`s first purpose was to switch the dribble hand in order to protect the ball, and in todays game it is used as a deceiving move to get loose off of defenders.  

There are six versions of this move :

1. Normal crossover: This type of move is based on speed, both running the floor and dribbling the ball. The players are switching the dribble hands as fast as possible, with not much of a fake motion. Russell Westbrook is a perfect example if we want to explain the normal crossover.

2. Hesitation crossover: This move is also called In and Out Crossover, simply because of the inside outside dribbling. Basically, this move is starting as a normal crossover, but it really is a fake move because the ball seems like it is going towards the other hand, but the player ends up with the ball in the primary hand and not changing the running direction. Hesitation crossover is much used as a preparation for some other dribble moves. Again, we will see Russ in a video as a protagonist of this move.

3. Killer Crossover : This type of crossover is done with accentuated elements of both dribbling the ball and players movement. It all start with the ball handler taking a wide step in one direction and showing the ball in the same act, and then throwing the ball towards the other hand and making a cross step. This movement is mostly East - West oriented. Lets take a look at this Killer Crossover done by Derrick Rose.

4. Behind the back Crossover : This move is similar as the normal crossover, but the ball is dribbled behind the players back.

If you want to read more about this kind of move we have a detailed article called: Everything about Behind the Back Dribble ft. Coach Chris.

5. Double Crossover : The name is telling it`s story. The move contains of two consecutive crossover moves where the first one is used as a preparation and the second one for passing by the defender. Lets take a look how Kevin Durant is doing double crossover dribble:

6. Shammgod Crossover: This is the move that was discovered by street ball legend, God Shammgod, but for this occasion we are going to see how Dejan Bodiroga aka "White Magic" was doing this move that is really hard to describe with just using words.

Now we are going to break down some of the most impressive crossovers that league has ever seen and we will try to point out the detail that is vital so you as a coach will know what to focus on in order to teach your players how to use this move in its full potential.  

1. Allen Iverson Killer crossover vs. Michael Jordan  

This is one of the most iconic crossovers that league has ever seen and it is the heritage move that todays generations of young basketball players are trying to replicate.

Crossover dribble is all about making your defender think that you are going to dribble one way, and in a moment that defender moves to fake side, you are changing the dribble hands and going the opposite direction. Lets go step by step.



Preparation for the crossover

The Preparation

Iverson is dribbling the ball with his left hand because Jordan is playing good defense and opening him the weak side of the court because he knows that Allen is right handed shooter.

This is such a good opportunities to do a mini analytic of a good defensive stance and the video preparation for the game. Jordan is forcing weak side corner with low left hand as if he is telling us that he knows how AI3 is going to attack.

Fake moves in crossover dribbling

The Fake move

If you want to convince the defense that you are going to try to penetrate the line, this is what you need to do:

1. Take a wide step forward in a direction in witch you want to go. Let it be a step full of energy and done in a low stance.

2. Go wide with the ball too and swing it like you mean it.

3. Prepare the off hand like you are expecting contact.

4. Look in the direction of the dribble penetration.

The more you emphasize these 4 elements the more convincing your fake will be.

Getting defender on skates

The Crossover

For the good crossover you need to be very focused and your reaction time needs to be flawless. Iverson was a master of this move just because his timing was more then perfect. In the exact same moment Jordan started gliding to the right, Iverson made the crossover move and wend to the left.

Let us take a look at video and listen what Coach Trey has to say about Iverson crossing Jordan. Listen very carefully and pay attention to the detail.  

2. Kemba Walker jab step double crossover

In our search for the perfect crossover dribbling, Kemba Walker double crossover move came to our attention because this is another good example how the mix of good dribbling moves can get you off of your defender. Lets break it down step by step.


Body positioning
The jab step

The Preparation

Take a close look at Kemba`s posture. The body, the ball and the look, everything is telling that he is going to try and penetrate to the left side.

And then he stops in one single step and all that from the full speed run. This caused that the defender went off balance.

The first crossover
The second crossover

The Fake move

The fake move in this situation is actually the first crossover. The defender, who was already off balance because of that jab step, had to try to reconnect on defense by taking a zippy step to the right, witch triggered another crossover by Kemba. Again we have to point out the look, the wide step and the movement of the ball.

Getting by defender

The Crossover

After two crossover moves, Kemba have created for himself a clear path towards the rim. This is the moment that defender is trying to catch Kemba, but the attacker is already in big advantage over him. Lets see what Coach Trey has to say about this move.  

3. Damian Lillard transition crossover move

This is the best example of a Normal crossover dribble move done by simply reading the defense. This is the best example of Read and React basketball, that you can find here on by clicking on a provided link.

Preparation is the fake move as the preparation for the crossover
The crossover

In this situation, The Preparation is The Fake move. Damien simply looked to the left witch caused Livingston to take a step towards the center and close the middle of the court. Lillard took the advantage of the inertia and made a simple crossover.

The crossover dribbling is considered as the oldest and the most used move in basketball so every player needs to master this maneuver. From protecting the ball to getting your defender on skates, this move is universally popular and considered as the core of basketball.

If you want to learn more dribbling techniques go rent a DVD by clicking on a link below.

Again, we have Coach Trey to help us with the detail.

Oct 22, 2018 Coach Viktor

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