Kyrie Irving is regarded as one of the most prolific ankle breakers in the NBA. His ability to create space and separate himself from defenders with quick and agile footwork has made him a fan favorite around the league. With his trademark crossovers, he leaves defenders grasping at the air while trying to stay in front of him.
Irving’s ankle-breaking abilities have been fully displayed since he first entered the league in 2011. He has consistently led all guards in points off of drives, highlighting his prowess in getting into the lane and creating for himself or his teammates. One need only looks back at some of Kyrie’s best games this season, where he routinely had defenders lunging out of position as he spun or crossed them up time after time for proof that there is no one better than Kyrie when it comes to ankle breakers. No doubt he is the best ankle breaker in NBA history.
What Is An Ankle Breaker In Basketball?
Ankle breaker is a term used to describe a basketball move that leaves the defender stumbling and flat-footed . It usually involves an unexpected, quick change of direction or crossover dribble that catches the defender off guard, leaving them helplessly stuck in midair. The term implies complete humiliation for the defending player, who has been “broken” by the offensive player’s slick moves.
Who Did The First Ankle-Breaker In Basketball?
The first ankle-breaker in basketball is often credited to the legendary Oscar Robertson. Known as one of the greatest players in NBA history, Robertson was a master of the craft during his time in the 1960s. His ability to quickly move around defenders and break their ankles made him stand out from others on the court. He could execute jump shots and layups with grace and fluidity, making it look effortless every time he dribbled past defenders.
How Does An Ankle Breaker Move In Basketball?
Step 1: Preparation
Preparation is vital when making an ankle breaker work – First, you need a firm handle on the ball to keep it away from your opponent’s reach while carrying out your dribbling sequence.
Step 2: Executing the Move
Executing an ankle breaker requires quick reflexes and a lot of practice. Use your body weight to your advantage – use a quick jab step followed by an explosive crossover dribbles to create enough space between yourself and your defender.
Step 3: Faking Out Your Opponent
Use head and body fakes, jab steps, and hesitation move that freeze defenders in their tracks. As soon as they bite on one of your fakes, make a move that gets you open for a shot or pass.
Step 4: Finishing The Move
This step involves using your body to shield off defenders while maintaining control of the ball and making an explosive finish at the rim. This requires a great deal of confidence and skill to execute flawlessly.
What’s A Crossover In Basketball?
A crossover in basketball is a move used by players to switch directions and change the court’s speeds quickly . It’s an exciting technique that can leave defenders off balance, allowing the ball handler to get past them and create scoring opportunities.
The most popular crossover version is when players dribble between their legs or behind their backs while changing direction at full speed. This maneuver is difficult to defend against when done right because it can be so quick and deceptive. The move also requires excellent body control and coordination, which makes it even more difficult for defenders to stay in front of the offensive player.
Who Is The King Of Crossover In The NBA?
A five-time All-Star with 17 years of experience in the league, Tim Hardaway was one of the first players to popularize effective crossover techniques. He was known for his signature move, “The UTEP Two-Step,” which featured an incredible double cross between two defenders and ended with a fadeaway jump shot.
Top Ankle Breakers In NBA History
Allen Iverson on Michael Jordan: This crossover by Iverson during his rookie season in 1997 is perhaps one of the most iconic moments in NBA history. Iverson crossed over Jordan, one of the greatest defenders ever, twice in a row, and then made a jump shot.
Tim Hardaway’s UTEP Two-step: Hardaway had one of the most devastating crossovers in NBA history. His “UTEP Two-step” was feared by defenders and resulted in numerous ankle-breaking moments.
Kyrie Irving on Brandon Knight in the Rising Stars Challenge (2013): Irving’s handles are considered some of the best in NBA history. This particular move on Brandon Knight is often replayed in highlight reels.
James Harden on Wesley Johnson (2018): Harden not only broke Johnson’s ankles, but after Johnson fell, Harden paused, stared at him on the ground, and then made a three-pointer, making it one of the most disrespectful ankle breakers ever.
Derrick Rose on Andre Miller (2011): In his MVP season, Rose displayed incredible agility and quickness. In this particular game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Rose did a crossover that left Miller on the floor.
Chris Paul on Stephen Curry (2015): Paul, another player known for his incredible handles, has broken many ankles. In a reversal of roles, Curry once managed to get Paul to hit the floor with a series of quick dribbles.
Steph Curry on Chris Paul (2015): In the same year, Curry returned the favor with an ankle breaker ofhis own on Paul. His quick dribbles left Paul on the floor.
Allen Iverson on Antonio Daniels (1999): In a game against the San Antonio Spurs, Iverson crossed over Daniels not once, but twice in quick succession, causing Daniels to fall both times.
Jamal Crawford on Ray Allen (2004): Crawford, known for his “shake and bake” style of play, caught Allen with a quick crossover that left him on the floor during a Knicks vs Sonics game.
Who Has The Most Ankle Breakers In NBA?
Kyrie Irving undeniably has the most ankle breakers in NBA history. His ability to make his opponents look like they’re stuck in quicksand with his ball-handling skills is mesmerizing. While other players have tried to imitate his maneuvers, nobody can compare to Kyrie’s skill level and masterful execution. Kyrie’s influence on the game has been tremendous and will continue for years to come.
Clyde Jackson III is a basketball coach and the founder of GCBC Basketball, a basketball-related learning and informational website that focuses on helping young players develop their skills on and off the court. With over 15 years of coaching experience, Clyde has worked with players of all ages and skill levels, from beginners to professionals.