If you’re an NBA fan of a certain age, then you know Tim Hardaway as the master of the “killer crossover.” If you’re a little bit younger and, say, need to look up “Run-TMC” on Wikipedia, then you might not appreciate the fact that people used to watch his highlights and try to imitate him. You might even think that Allen Iverson invented the crossover. And that bothers Hardaway.
NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper interviewed Hardaway, now an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons, for a story about him potentially making the Hall of Fame, and then he tweeted a quote about the crossover that was left on the cutting room floor.
“The crossover,” Hardaway said. “Everybody says Allen Iverson. I’m going to tell you this and I tell everybody this: Allen Iverson carried the basketball. I had the original killer crossover and people are doing my move. They’re not doing Allen Iverson’s move. They’re not doing nobody else’s move. They’re still trying to perfect my move as the killer crossover and it’s my move, all right? That’s the way it is. I brought a unique style to the game.”
No history of the crossover dribble would be complete without Hardaway. He didn’t create it -- he acknowledges that he was inspired by Pearl Washington -- but he did turn it into his signature move, almost always doing the first dribble between his legs.
The crossover became a signature move for Iverson, too, and it’s a bit of a shame that Hardaway is now trying to trivialize what Iverson did with it. Two days ago marked the 20-year anniversary of a rookie Iverson crossing up Michael Jordan, and Jordan still isn’t over it.
Hardaway certainly isn’t the first to call Iverson’s crossover a carry, however. When Iverson became a star for the Philadelphia 76ers in the late 90s, it was such a point of contention that the league changed the way it called the violation several times. Still, it seems like Hardaway could talk about his own importance to the game without bringing anybody else down.