Kyrie Irving is arguably the best ball handler in the NBA. His shiftiness and deception enables him to get to any spot on the floor while making a fool out of his defenders. But Kyrie wasn’t born being able to break defenders ankles and put them on their a**, he had to put tons hours into his craft to have the skill-set he has today.
Having that handle on a string can create numerous of opportunities on the court whether it is to score or to create for your teammate. If you can do both, which is rare in today’s basketball. Coaches will ABSOLUTELY love you and people will praise you because you do so much for the team.
If you want to have that ball on a string and learn how to get Kyrie Irving handles, I recommend that you read on below.
How To Handle The Ball Like Kyrie Irving
1. Be Ambidextrous Ball Handler
What I mean by being an ambidextrous ball handler is that you have no weak or off hand. Your equally skilled at dribbling the basketball with your left or right hand. If your only good at dribbling the ball with one of your hands, that makes you easier to guard because the defense knows your weaknesses and how to expose it.
For example, let’s say a player is right handed and only loves to attack the right side of the basket. The defense will recognize this and make the adjustment to force the player to use his left hand. This adjustment will make the player feel uncomfortable and possibly turnover the basketball, which can result in a substitution or worse, a loss. So you can see the importance of being able to dribble COMFORTABLY with both hands.
If you know that you can’t dribble with your left or right hand, the solution is simple. Start dribbling with your weak hand more often and setting time aside everyday to work on it.
2. Low Center Of Gravity
In the game of basketball, the lower man always wins whether on offense or defense. When handling the rock, it’s crucial to have knees bent and lower than your defender. Otherwise, it’s going to be easy as a Sunday morning for your defender to steal the ball from you and go back on the other end for an easy layup.
What makes Kyrie Irving so difficult to steal the ball from is because he’s so low to the court when he’s making his moves. The ball doesn’t come above his kneecap and he’s inches lower than his defenders, also it makes him more explosive when blowing past them. How can you possibly expect to stay in front of someone you can’t steal the ball from and who’s lower than you?
To start being low while you dribble, you have to make the conscious decision in your mind first. Reminding yourself to “stay low” until it becomes natural. Also, wall sits for 1 minute an great exercise to help your body get accustomed to being low both on defense and offense.
3. Counter-Moves Is An Major Key
As you move up in levels of competition for basketball, the players become bigger, faster, and stronger. So sometimes it’s going to take more than one move to get past your defender. This is where your counter-moves come into play. Counter-moves in basketball are the moves you do after your initial move on your defender didn’t work.
Some examples of counter-moves would be crossover dribble, between the legs dribble, behind the back dribble, etc… any move that gets your defenders off of you. Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, and Stephen Curry has some of the best counter-moves in the NBA. A defender may cut them off going to the basket, they do a spin move right into an pull-up jump shot for 2 or 3 points. They all make these moves look so easy on TV, but in reality, they spent hours upon hours in the gym working on that same exact move.
If you truly want to be unstoppable, it’s a must to have counter moves because it may take 1, 2, or 3 moves to get past those really good defenders. To get counter-moves, watch film on the players I mentioned above or other elite players. Write the moves you like best down and go to the court and practice them until you can do it effortlessly. Then go try your moves out in scrimmages whether it be 5 on 5, 3 on 3, or just 1 on 1. Find out which moves works best and which ones doesn’t.
4. Last Option, Go-To Moves
Go-To moves are essential for every basketball player because these are the moves you know without a doubt you can complete them with no effort and have success with them. You perform your go-to moves when you had a scoring drought and you need an easy bucket to get you going, or the game is on the line and you need to score. But other than that, you use your go-to moves sparingly. If you use them too often or every time you get the ball in your hands, the defense begins to catch on to them and they won’t be effective anymore.
If you look all throughout the history of the NBA, all the greats had signature go-to moves. Allen Iverson had the hesitation crossover, Michael Jordan had the fadeaway jump shot, Hakeem Olajuwon had the dream shake, etc… These go-to moves have been replicated and is used all throughout basketball today.
So find you a player that you want to model your game after, and watch film on them. Pay attention to detail and write down the moves that you think can work for you, then go to the gym and practice them till they become second nature. Also your go-to moves should include counter-moves, that way you’ll be prepared for whatever the defense has to throw at you.
5. Read The Defense
Being able to read how the defense is guarding you is key when your learning how to get Kyrie Irving handles. Reading the defense enables you to make the right decision, at the right time. The more faster you are at reading the defense, the more time you have to make your move and be effective with it.
Kyrie doesn’t just do 10 different dribble moves on his defenders and hopes to blow past them. He reads how the defense is playing him and bases his moves off of it. If the defense is playing too close, he blows past them. If they’re playing off of him, he pulls up for the easy jump shot. Nothing is left to chance, every thing is calculated and worked on in practice. That’s why his moves be so effective because he done them a million times in practice.
To be able to read the defense, you have to watch film and pay close attention to detail. Recognizing the moves that he does in different defensive settings. And not film alone is just going to help you, you have to take what you know and go out and practice it so you’ll be experienced enough to do it in real games.
6. Dribble All Day…Everyday
The quickest way to getting that handle on a string is dribbling a basketball as often as you can. Practice your dribbling while going for an walk or run outside, walking your dog, while watching TV, listening to music, etc… Whenever you get the opportunity to work on your handles, take advantage of it.
When Kyrie Irving was in high school, he’ll leave class when it was over and go home and finish his homework, then spend the rest of his day at the gym working on his game. Focused on becoming a better basketball player than he was the day before. That’s why he is one of the top point guards in the NBA today.
So set aside some time everyday just to work on your handles, whether it may be an hour or just 15 minutes. Anything is better than nothing. Remember to keep your head up and dribbling with your fingertips. Soon you notice that your ball control is tighter and stronger, feeling as if the basketball was an extension of your arm.
The Bottom Line
When working on how to get Kyrie Irving handles, don’t expect results to happen all in one day. You just don’t start off breaking defender’s ankles and making them fall, it takes hard work to get there. Be patient and watch your skill level grow.
Handling the ball is just one aspect of the game of basketball, you need to improve upon all parts of your game to become truly UNSTOPPABLE. I recommend The Scoring Academy, it’s the top rated basketball skills development program in the world. Developed by professional basketball player and trainer, Augie Johnson. His workouts are all game specific so that when it comes to the real game, nothing is new to you, it’s all automatic. Unlock your full potential as a basketball player and watch your stats take off.
I hope you enjoyed this article on how to get Kyrie Irving handles and encourage you to share it with a friend. Also read “How To Mentally Prepare For A Basketball Game“, to get you in the zone so that you can be dominant in the game. If you have any questions or want to share your own experience, leave an comment below.