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The Best Signature Moves in NBA History



The bestNBA players possess artistic creativity and innovative talent with the capability to drop jaws and induce “aws.” These athletes conjure novel skills on a dime, with some players repeatedly turning to the same signature move when the opposition has no answers. Championships are won with bread-and-butter stylistic choices, and at other times, fans come to games just for a glance at a crossover or behind-the-back pass. These are the 22 best signature moves in NBA history!

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Sky Hook

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leveraged his 7’2” height and enormous wingspan to perfect the sky hook. This sweeping shot over the top of the defense demoralized the opposition and helped Abdul-Jabbar become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer for over 30 years until his record was broken by LeBron James in 2023.

2. Dirk Nowitzki’s One-Leg Fadeaway

Dirk Nowitzki’s shooting ability pioneered a new way to play basketball at 7′ tall. With height on his side, the German star couldn’t be blocked when he got to the mid-range and shot on one leg. Players like Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant have tried to duplicate it, but nothing tops the original.

3. Hakeem Olajuwon’s “Dream Shake”

Hakeem’s signature postmove felt so original it needed a nickname. Olajuwon performed many spins- turns, fakes, up-and-under moves, and more to get even the best defensive players in league history turning in a tizzy. It was simply unfair for a center to move like this!

4. Magic Johnson’s No-Look Pass

Magic Johnson ran the fastbreak better than any point guard to play the game. With a 6’9” frame and vision never to be replicated, Magic made all his teammates better, but they always needed to be ready. Often, Johnson would send a no-look pass directly to James Worthy or A.C. Green on the break for two points!

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