There have been plenty of incredible ball handlers over the course of NBA history. Current NBA players often seem to pick the best dribblers as their own personal favorite players, and perhaps that explains why so many guys love Kyrie Irving.
While speaking about the subject of dribbling with Steve Smith on NBA TV, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry said that he had a very specific opinion on who was on his Mount Rushmore of best dribblers in NBA lore.
“Myself, Kyrie (Irving), Pistol Pete (Maravich) and Magic Johnson,” said Curry.
You can’t knock Curry for his choices, although it does leave out some of the best guys to ever do it. Off the top of my head, guys like Allen Iverson, Tim Hardaway, Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, and even John Stockton should be atop everyone’s list. Hell, Rafer Alston — who played on the And1 Streetball to her — probably fits the bill.
The thing about NBA handle that’s so wild is the context relative, perceived skill. For example, you wouldn’t think about many big men in the NBA having the ability to dribble the rock, and in normal game situations they don’t. But get those same guys on a court in summer and it becomes immediately clear that just about every NBA player can dribble better than you or anyone at your 24 Hour Fitness.
The same goes for whether NBA big men can shoot. Show up early to watch shootaround one day and you’ll catch your favorite NBA center draining threes. They just don’t do it while the clock is rolling. It’s wild stuff.
How about you? Who is on your list of all-time great dribblers?