A crossover dribble is a basketball maneuver in which a player dribbling the ball switches the ball rapidly from one hand to the other, to make a change in direction. In a typical example the player heads upcourt, dribbling the ball in (say) the left hand, then makes a wide step left with a good head fake. If the defender is deceived, the player can then switch to dribbling with the right hand and surpass the defender. The crossover can allow the player an open short jumper or a clear path to the basket.
There are six basic types of crossover:
- Normal Crossover: In a normal crossover the player quickly changes direction while switching the ball to the opposite hand. This move relies primarily on speed. Basketball analysts have cited Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook to be perfectionists at this certain crossover.
- Half Crossover (Also known as the "In and Out"): In a half crossover, a player brings the ball from one side of their body across their chest and back to the original position in one movement. The move is often done with a head fake and a step towards the opposite side of the original position to make it more "believable". A variation of the move may include the player doing a normal crossover after the half crossover to cause further difficulty for the defensive player.
- Killer Crossover: In this move the player fakes in one direction, generally with a wide step and a head fake and usually from a standstill. The player then switches the dribble to the other hand between his/her legs and moves in that direction. This is one of the most effective methods of escaping a defender who is guarding closely. It is also popular in streetball because it can cause the defender to lose balance and fall in trying to react too quickly. Tim Hardaway was known for his version of this move calling it the "UTEP Two-step".
- Behind the back Crossover (Also known as the "Shake and Bake"): Behind the back crossover is the same as the usual crossover except the ball is dribbled behind the player. Another version of this move is called the "wraparound," in which the player cups the ball in his hand and brings it around his back to the other side of his body in one quick, smooth motion. Jamal Crawford is known for this trick.
- Double Crossover: This move can be considered a feigned crossover. The offensive player crosses the ball over (as with a normal or killer crossover) then quickly crosses the ball back to its original position. The double crossover is not aimed at breaking free of the defender so much as causing confusion and breaking the defender's balance. This move can also be replicated going between the legs or behind the back. Allen Iverson popularized this move in the early 2000s.
- Ankle-Breaking Crossover: When a crossover move is performed and the defender trips over himself/herself. This move is used by Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard.
The original crossover move has been used by all five positions on the court, but particularly by point and shooting guards. The first crossover was seen in a street basketball game at the Rucker Park by the street legend Richard (Rick) "Pee Wee" Kirkland. Oscar Robertson was known to do the move as early as the 1960s as well as Dwayne Washington while playing for Syracuse during the early 1980s, but Tim Hardaway is credited for popularising the killer crossover in the NBA, while Allen Iverson popularised the double crossover.