Ball handling is one of the most underrated skills in the NBA nowadays, even though it gives players a huge advantage over their opponents as they give them the ability to do pretty much whatever they want with the rocks.
Either by crossing them over, going between their legs or just finding the open guy with a pass that would be impossible for most human beings, some of the greatest players in the world have made a huge impact thanks to their ball handling.
As a matter of fact, that’s one of the things coaches make more emphasis when training young ballers, and one of the things scout take more into consideration. So, if you’re a young player and would like to improve your handles, go ahead and take a look at the top 10 best ball handlers the NBA has ever seen.
Honorable Mention: John Stockton and Kemba Walker
10. Pete Maravich
“Pistol” Pete Maravich was Stephen Curry before Stephen Curry, a tiny guard that could go through defenders with great ease and make impossible shots as if they were layups on a practice drill.
Maravich made a name for himself in the league due to his ability and cross pretty much all opposition, not to mention the fact that he was also a deadly shooter on a league that didn’t favor jump shooting as much as today.
9. Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas is arguably the most underrated point guard in the history of the game, being a top-notch playmaker and a lockdown defender that could put a lot of points on the scoreboard as well.
Thomas had one of the best handles in the league during his prime and was one of the best passers this game has ever seen, and it’s worth noting that he played on an era where referees didn’t call for carrying.
8. Steve Nash
Perhaps the most underlooked part of Steve Nash’s game was his top-tier handles, as he’s had the ability to create his own shot out of the blue and pretty much make a fool out of every defender.
Nash was also great crossing defender overs despite his apparent lack of explosiveness and speed, and naturally, he’s one of the best passers this game has ever seen, constantly leading the league in dimes per game.
7. Chris Paul
Chris Paul is one of the peskiest defenders in the NBA, as he’s got the quickest hands on defense any player could wish for, being as smooth as silk when stealing the ball from his opponent’s hands.
Paul is perhaps the best point guard not named Nash or Stockton never to win an NBA Championship, and even though he hasn’t even made it to the Finals, he’s a lock to make the Hall of Fame. That’s how good he is.
6. Tim Hardaway
Tim Hardaway wasn’t named “Mr. Crossover” for nothing, as his 2-step crossover was extremely influential for hundreds of young basketball players that wanted to break their teammates’ ankles.
Hardaway could cross every single person on earth with great ease and was also an outstanding passer, not to mention off the ball ability that makes him one of the most underrated players ever.
5. Stephen Curry
Besides being the greatest shooter in NBA history, Stephen Curry has one of the best handles in the history of the game, completely embarrassing top-tier defenders of the likes of Chris Paul when trying to guard him.
Curry has the quickest shot in the game as well and can pretty much pull up from everywhere on the floor, and with his underrated playmaking abilities, there’s pretty much no human way to stop him right now.
4. Jason Williams
Most young hoops fans won’t remember Jason “White Chocolate” Williams because he was never much of a great scorer and was used to coming off the bench, but boy, he was a human highlight reel for sure.
Williams was the closest thing we’ve seen to Magic Johnson in terms of spectacular passing. He had eyes on the back of his head and would always make a surprising move, a cross-court pass, a between the legs dime, a no-look elbow pass, you name it.
3. Jamal Crawford
Jamal Crawford has always been a major defensive liability and has made the most of his career coming off the bench, but even though, he’s been able to have a long and successful NBA career as one of the greatest substitutes ever.
Crawford isn’t really fast but can create a lot of space in the blink of an eye with his deadly crosses. He can create his own shot and finish through contact and is a great and flashy playmaker with a hood basketball style all fans love to watch.
2. Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving has the best handles in the league right now and it’s not even close, as he’s shown with his ability to get between 3 defenders while dribbling the ball without turning it over and then finish with an acrobatic floater.
Irving’s layup package is just never ending and insane, and he can create his own shot even when guarded by the toughest of oppositions. If you don’t take our word for it, just go ahead and watch some Uncle Drew clips.
1. Allen Iverson
And naturally, the best handles in NBA history have to go to the guy that was able to humiliate His Royal Airness himself by crossing Michael Jordan over during his rookie season to give everybody a taste of what was to come.
Iverson was one of the peskiest and most skilled offensive talents this game has ever seen. His particular style, dribbling abilities and capacity of pretty much bully his way into the lane with ballerina-like movements made him unstoppable.