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Iverson, Hardaway and Wade Discuss Who Has The Better Cross


But! The video below, posted by the NY Times, brought me back to a time when I did. They cover one of the most dynamic moves in basketball-the crossover. And they include some great clips.

Watching former Philadelphia 76er Allen Iverson cross the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, despite excellent defense was one of those magical moments in basketball I’ll never forget. Saw it live and feel blessed to be able to say that.

The highlights from the video for me:

  • Can’t believe they got Iverson on camera for this. That alone made me happy.

Iverson’s old Georgetown teammate Dean Perry talked about how he perfected his cross taking elements from players like Tim Hardaway and Kenny Anderson. Never really thought about how effectively Kenny Anderson used his body to create space for a shot until watching that video.

Also regarding Iverson and Perry, there’s a key moment where Iverson talks about refusing to let Perry best him in practice. Now everyone knows that Iverson went on an epic rant about what he felt was the media’s over emphasis on his refusal to attend practice consistently or take it seriously while with the Sixers. When Iverson made the comment about he and Perry’s friendly competition, it occurred to me that maybe Iverson didn’t like to practice in Philadelphia because his teammates weren’t good enough to challenge him or teach him anything. That squad wasn’t exactly stacked with premiere talent.

Back to the video, one thing that always impressed me about Hardaway’s cross is how low he could get his ass to the ground. They talk about that  in the video. But, the video also revealed something I never noticed-how high Hardaway would sometimes bounce the ball from one hand to another taking the ball from a low and harder-to-steal dribble to a high bounce complementing his body’s momentum.

The level of ball control it takes to accomplish a successful cross is a little mind boggling for someone like me who would double dribble playing horse.

In the video, Dwyane Wade says explicitly that Hardaway had the best and most difficult cross to master. And he mentions the speed at which Hardaway could take the defender off the dribble. I agree with Wade’s observation.

From memory, I would also say Iverson’s crosses typically ended in mid-range jump shots -generalizing here-whereas Hardaway’s crosses ended up in jumpers, three pointers, and some of the most spectacular lay-ups and reverse lay-ups I’ve ever seen in my INTAH LAHF! #phonetics Agree or Disagree?

While I’m thinking back, I remember watching Hardaway as his knees deteriorated into nothing (by the time he retired he had NO cartilage left) and it was really hard for me because he was one of those handful of players who seemed consistently hyper aware of his individual strengths. And talk about body conscious and a great defender.

Nice to walk down memory lane a bit.

Oh and I never need to hear Wade talk about watching Iverson “while growing up.” Damn I’m old. And so is Iverson, though he still looks about 25.



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