What Is A Crossover In Basketball: Complete Guide

Crossovers are a staple move for basketball players looking to separate from their defenders.

If you’ve ever played pickup ball or in high school, you probably know all the ins and outs of the crossover, but just in case you need a refresher, here it is.

Crossovers are an essential dribbling technique used by basketball players to get past defenders and into the lane for easier shots or to create opportunities for teammates.

So if you’re not sure how to break defenders with crossovers like Kyrie Irving, read on for everything you need to know about crossovers in basketball.

What Exactly is a Crossover in Basketball?

A crossover is when a basketball player fakes out their defender by dribbling with one hand and then quickly dribbling with the other.

Players use a very common move to get past their defender to create an advantage and get into the lane for an open shot.

Crossovers are used to deceive defenders and change the direction of a dribble. You can do a behind-the-back, between-the-legs, one-hand, or two-hand crossover. Sometimes people also call crossovers “shoulder shakes.”

Why Are Crossovers Important in Basketball?

Crossovers give you a certain advantage over your defender. Even if you don’t shake them off thoroughly, it’s enough of a change in direction to provide you with more space to work with.

The more room you have to work with, the easier it is to get open. If you can get a defender off balance, you can also use crossovers to go behind their back and into the lane for an easier shot or to pass to an open teammate.

Crossovers are a great move to use if you go to the basket. It’s a quick way to get past the defender, and you can use various crossover moves depending on your skill level.

How to Do a Crossover in Basketball

When you’re doing a crossover, make sure to shoot the ball toward the opposite side of the direction you’re going. So if you’re going to your left, you want to shoot it towards your right.

This will help you keep the ball close to your body so you can maintain control of the ball and keep it out of reach from the defender. When you’re trying to do a crossover, be sure to stay low to the ground and make sure you have a broad base.

This will help you keep your dribble low, which will help you keep the ball under control. Crossover dribbles are deceptive and require a deft touch. You don’t want to go too hard, or you’ll lose the ball.

Moreover, excessive force can make it challenging to stay balanced on the dribble.

3 Exercises to Help You Learn Cross Overs

The best way to learn the crossover is to practice with a basketball and a hoop. There are a few ways you can do this to hone your crossover skills:

Partner Drills: You can also do partner drills with a friend or teammate to get better at crossovers.

If you have a friend that also plays basketball, try playing a game where you each have to crossover with each other.

Shooting Drills: Shooting drills are an excellent way to practice your crossover dribble. Try dribbling with your non-dominant hand around the rim and shooting.

One-Hand Drills: If you can do the crossover with both hands, try dribbling with just one hand. You can use the opposite hand to dribble and see how long you can do it.

This will help you build up your hand strength and help you get better at doing a crossover with one hand.

Types of Basketball Crossovers

There are several different types of crossovers in basketball.

The behind-the-back crossover is one of the most common crossovers and is a great one to start with.

You can try the between-the-legs or one-handed crossover if you’re more advanced.

These are a little more difficult to do, but they make you look flashy on the court and are sure to draw some attention.

When should you use a crossover in basketball?

The crossover is best used when you’re trying to get past your defender while going toward the basket or if you’re trying to get open for a shot.

Crossovers are an excellent way to draw fouls because defenders typically can’t keep their hands off you when you’re constantly faking them out with the crossover dribble.

The crossover is also a great way to break your defender’s ankles and get past them.

Who has the best crossovers in the NBA?

There are a bunch of different crossovers in the NBA, but here are the players who can do it best:

1. Kyrie Irving

Uncle drew might be be the best ball handler in all of NBA history. His fluid movements while carrying the ball to the basket can leave defenders in the dust.

He can hit you with just about any type of crossover and can finish with both hands. Plus, he’s so skilled that he can adjust his body midair!

2. Allen Iverson

Iverson is one of the best players in NBA history. Although he didn’t win a championship, he changed the game with his moves.

He was the idol of a lot of players especially since he brought a lot of crossover moves to the table. He’s an offensive beast even though he’s shorter than most point guards.

It’s probably due to the fact that he can move so well with the ball.

3. Michael Jordan

The GOAT also has a crazy arsenal of crossover dribbles. Although it’s not as flashy as Kyrie, it’s definitely effective.

He hit a lot of mid-range shots that were created from his crossover. A lot of players today still use his moves – which is testament to how good he is when it comes to crossovers.

4. Stephen Curry

Most people refer to Curry as the best shooter ever – and he is. But apart from his insane shooting skills, he’s also an incredibly skilled dribbler.

He tore apart Chris Paul with his patented behind the back crossover from the mid range.

Even when he’s in an iso situation, he can go to the basket anytime thanks to his agility and insane handles.

5. Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford popularized his signature move which is the behind the back crossover while bringing the ball up into the basket. He has incredible handles and the offensive arsenal to match it up.


Crossovers are an essential part of basketball; every basketball player should have them in their arsenal. If you’re having trouble shaking your defender, giving the crossover a try.

It’s a simple move, but it can make a big difference in your game. And if you’re worried about faking out your defender, don’t be.

Just remember to keep the ball close to your body while maintaining a broad base to keep it under control. With a bit of practice, you’ll be faking out defenders in no time.

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