Dunks are are fun to watch. Anybody who’s ever seen LeBron James show off at practice knows that. However, in it’s simplest, most basic form, a dunk is just a person dropping a ball through a hoop. Anybody who’s seven feet tall can do it, and you see about 10 to 20 dunks every time you watch a basketball game.
But dribbling a basketball and juking a professional athlete so badly that his motor skills fail him and he falls on the ground? That’s a talent only a relatively small number of people in the world possess, and it’s far more rare—which is probably why they gave it such an awesome name: the ankle-breaker.
Today, we’re celebrating the ankle-breaker, the Holy Grail of basketball highlights, with this list of awesome ankle-breaker GIFs. You should probably take a look, because it’s kind of awesome.
Okay, so the layup got rejected. But that was still a pretty killer crossover from former KU guard Elijah Johnson.
27. Elijah Johnson
Norris Cole may not be one of the Miami's "Big Three," but the guy gets his fair share of starts at point guard and he definitely has some moves.
26. Norris Cole, Part 1
Like I just said, Norris Cole has moves.
25. Norris Cole, Part 2
Okay, so the defender tripped a bit on his own teammate. It still counts, though, because he ends up on the ground.
24. Russell Westbrook
FYI, John Wall is good at basketball.
23. John Wall
Meet Tar Heels freshman Nate Britt, ankle assassin.
22. Nate Britt
Dwyane doesn't just break his ankles, he sends him flying 20 feet.
This is what happens when a 7'6" guy (Yao Ming) guards Stephon Marbury.
20. Stephon Marbury
Just the Black Mamba working his magic. Nothing to see here.
When he's not goofing off, J.R. Smith is pretty good.
Of course, he is playing the Cavaliers, so...
18. J.R. Smith
This is how Deron Williams earns his big fat paycheck.
17. Deron Williams
Hey, remember this guy? I think his name was Dave or Darryl or something? Anyway, he used to play basketball.
Allen Iverson had the best crossover in the history of basketball.
15. The Answer
One point for the ankle-breaker, and one point for the post-shot victory stance.
14. Lance Stephenson
Nate Robinson is just 5'9" tall, and if you want to succeed in the NBA and you're just 5'9", you'd better have some slick moves.
13. Nate Robinson, Part 1
Obviously, Robinson does have some slick moves. Right, Jose Calderon?
12. Nate Robinson, Part 2
This one isn't your typical ankle-breaker, but Tiago Splitter still ends up on the ground, so I say it counts.
11. Nate Robinson, Part 3
Don't mess with Uncle Drew. He'll chop your feet right off.
10. Kyrie Irving
Of course, the greatest to ever play the game put a few guys on their butts in his day.
Thabo Sefolosha isn't exactly a household name, but he took Marcin Gortat (a.k.a. the guy who wants hockey-style fighting in basketball) to school here.
8. Thabo Sefolosha
Poor J.J. Reddick got his ankled broken so bad, even his own teammate Jameer Nelson was making fun of him.
7. Kirk Hinrich
Nigeria may have been clobbered by the Dream Team VI, but at least they got one amazing highlight reel play when Tony Skinn broke James Harden's ankles.
6. Tony Skinn
I think this is real, guys.
5. Taking Things Literally
Be careful, Jarrett Jack. You break Metta World Peace's ankles, he breaks your orbital bone with his elbow.
4. Jarrett Jack
This is why people (including myself) love Stephen Curry. He doesn't just have a pure jump shot, he's also got some pretty okay ball handling skills.
3. Stephen Curry
Someone call a paramedic. Paul Pierce is down.
2. Jameer Nelson
The best part about Paul Pierce getting traded to the Nets? Now Joe Johnson can only do stuff like this to him in practice.
1. Joe Johnson
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