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Top 25 Dribblers In NBA History

Dribbling the ball is the most fundamental skill in basketball. Before a player ever shoots a ball, he will have dribbled it. It is the one skill that, if not possessed, would not allow you to even play the sport. But, the question remains, what makes a great dribbler?  Is it ball security and the ability to control the ball without turning it over? Is it the ability to change speeds, accelerate, and then stop on a dime, all while maintaining control of the ball? Maybe, it's a flashy move like a killer crossover, spin move, or a behind-the-back dribble. The truth is there is no definitive answer. The standouts tend to be players who have these elements, while having mastered or pioneered a move their peers could not match.

One of the harder elements when determining the greatest of all time is trying to figure out how skills would translate over different eras. How would modern players fare in the 50’s and 60’s when palming, and travelling rules were much more strictly enforced? How would players from the 50’s compete with the modern day athleticism of NBA players? It is an impossible debate, and it makes any list highly subjective. What was considered flash in the golden era, are moves that high school kids could pull off today, but not paying respect to the history of the game would be a grave injustice. These pioneers paved the way for the ones after them, and they all possessed world class athleticism. How each player would have fared in different eras is anyone’s guess. What we do know is that these players were a sight to behold with the ball in their hands. This list will try to do the impossible and break down the top 25 dribblers of all time.

25 25. Ricky Rubio

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

24 24. Mark Price

via - ProHoopsHistory.com

23 23. Magic Johnson

via- FoxSports.com

22 22. Calvin Murphy

via- NBA.com

21 21. Dwyane Wade

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

20 20. Derrick Rose

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

19 19. Kenny Anderson

via- realclearsports.com

18 18. Michael Jordan

via espn.com

17 17. God Shammgod

via nydailynews.com

16 16. Steve Francis

via washingtontimes.com

15 15. Steve Nash

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

14 14. Oscar Robertson

via photobucket.com

13 13. Rafer Alston

via wikipedia.org

12 12. Nate “Tiny” Archibald

via galleryhip.com

11 11. Dwayne “Pearl” Washington

via nytimes.com

10 10. Jamal Crawford

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

9 9. Earl "The Pearl" Monroe

via espn.com

 

8 8. Kyrie Irving

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

7 7. Chris Paul

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

6 6. Bob Cousy

via wikipedia.org

5 5. Jason Williams

via reddit.com

4 4. Isiah Thomas

via foxsports.com

3 3. Allen Iverson

via espn.com

 

2 2. Tim Hardaway 

via espn.com

1 1. "Pistol" Pete Maravich

via espn.com

"Pistol" Pete Maravich was not the first player to do a behind the back dribble, or make a no look pass, but it was the way he brought all those elements together with flair that made him special. He never did anything conventional; for him everything was a show. Maravich once stated, "If I have a choice whether to do the show or throw a straight pass, and we're going to get the basket either way, I'm going to do the show." He defined creativity, and showed what spectacular things could be done while dribbling a ball. Your eyes never left Maravich, as you would always wonder what would come next. He combined all this flair, while still being a great scorer (he is still the all-time Division I leader in scoring). What Maravich did in the 70’s changed the game forever, and when you can be that type of pioneer, you deserve the top spot.

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Top 25 Dribblers In NBA History