No other sporting platform in the world lends itself to introducing a signature play more than the NBA – and many basketball superstars have created and cemented iconic moves that have become a part of the league’s folklore.
From Michael Jordan’s ‘Jumpman’, to ‘Steph Knew It’ Curry turning his back on his threes, Dirk Nowitzki’s fall-away jumper, Kobe Bryant’s fadeaway, Allen Iverson’s crossover and LeBron’s chase-down, the signature moves have contributed to modern players’ all-time great status.
Some, of course, had more than one signature play. Jordan also had the ‘Cradle Dunk’, while he was draining epic fadeaways when Kobe and Dirk were trying out for high school basketball teams.
Many of the most iconic moves belong to the greats of yesteryear, such as Rick Barry’s ‘Granny Style’ free-throws, Wilt Chamberlain’s ‘Dipper’, Shaquille O’Neal’s ‘Black Tornado’, Hakeem Olajuwon’s ‘Dream Shake’, Magic Johnson’s no-look pass and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s ‘Skyhook’.
And some by more recent linchpins are just plain mesmerising, like Jamal Crawford’s ‘Shake-n-Bake’.
We’re going to finish this decadent trip through the annals of the NBA’s signature moves with one of the most inventive players in the sport’s history, the mercurial Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving.
The Doctor’s iconic reverse layup – aka ‘Baseline Scoop’ – was unleashed most famously during the 1980 playoffs.