Dazzling football catches — the ones that shock the crowd and get our Twitter fingers going — are why we keep watching the game again and again.
Odell Beckham Jr. was falling backward with a defender all over him on Sunday Night Football in 2014 when the wide receiver made a one-handed catch for a touchdown. Arguably, it remains one of the best catches of all time.
So when he dazzled us again on Monday night with a one-handed catch as a new member of the Cleveland Browns, we couldn’t help but wonder, is the one-handed catch OBJ’s signature move?
Yes. And what other moves over the years have had the same game-changing effect? Let’s explore…
James Harden‘s Step-back Three
James Harden sidesteps and hits a one-legged 3 during a summer pickup game.
Harden had one of the best offensive performances of any NBA player last season, becoming the only player in league history to average 35 points and seven assists in a season.
A lot of his offensive success came because of his ability to drain a step- back three-point shot. Last season, Harden led the league in points per game with an average of 36.1. Overall, the former NBA MVP also led the league in three-point field goal attempts with 1,028 — of which he made 36.8 percent.
But a step-back three isn’t quite a move signature to Harden, despite his ability to seemingly have it down pat.
On our radar is a step-back one-legged three-point shot, which he has been showing off throughout the offseason:
Should Harden perfect this and add it to his arsenal of shooting techniques, the league should be afraid, it should be very afraid.
Simone Biles’ double-double
Biles is such a legend that she’s already had multiple moves named after her, and so it was a struggle to pick *the one* to include.
After much debate, the double-double off beam has to be her most iconic: No one has ever done it and it’s pretty much unimaginable, even for the most elite gymnasts. According to Team USA, the 22-year-old became “the first gymnast ever to attempt and land a double twisting, double somersault dismount” at the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships. It helped her place first in the all-around. The skill will be named after her if she completes it at the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in October.
Biles also successfully completed a triple twisting double somersault on floor exercise, a move that will also be named after her.
Biles has won five Olympic medals and is a 14-time world champion.
Michael Jordan’s fadeaway
There is no iconic move list without mentioning MJ.
In the final two seasons of his unreal career, the greatest basketball player of all time shot a staggering 82 percent on his fadeaway shot.
Generations of NBA players have since worked to replicate the shot, which has become iconic across not just basketball, but sports in general.
During his 15-year career, Jordan won six NBA championships and 14 MVP awards. The list of MJ accolades goes on and on and on, but another that stands out thanks to his lethal fadeaway includes winning 10 scoring titles.
Serena Williams’ serve
— Rennae Stubbs (@rennaestubbs) August 15, 2015
Arguably the best women’s tennis player of all time, Williams is known for her dagger of a serve. In fact, according to WTA stats, her serve of 128.3 mph is fifth all time among women’s tennis players.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner has been making her opponents get out of the way ASAP whenever it is her time to serve.
For example, according to FiveThirtyEight, “[I]n 2010, she won 87.5 percent of the points for which she landed her first serve, the highest at Wimbledon in her career.” It is no surprise that she won Wimbledon that year.
Hakeem Olajuwon’s Dream Shake
Despite being a big man, Olajuwon was one of the NBA’s most feared offensive players in the 1980s.
Olajuwon, who led the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995, leaned heavily on his ability to perfect a few fakes and a few spin moves to create his now-trademarked Dream Shake.
One of the most notable victims of the Dream Shake was in the 1995 Western Conference Finals when Olajuwon destroyed David Robinson’s soul in Game 2 of Rockets vs. Spurs. The Rockets then went on to win another NBA championship.
Muhammad Ali’s shuffle
Known for his dancing feet and fast right hooks, Muhammad Ali provided many memorable quotes — and taunts.
In order to “sting like a bee,” you have to first “move like a butterfly.”
Ali was not just one of the greatest boxers of all time, but one of the most dominant and loved athletes of the 20th century.
The Ali Shuffle meant his opponent should be scared: First, he did a dance, and then he moved in and landed an unexpected blow. Goodbye.
Before he died at age 74 in 2016, Ali racked up a total of 56 wins in 61 fights. Of those wins, a whopping 37 were by KO. There’s no doubt the Ali Shuffle had quite a bit to do with those wins.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook
NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar answers who his NBA “Big 3” would be, how fast he’s thrown a baseball, and the style of martial arts he studied under Bruce Lee.
There have been at least one billion arguments about the Skyhook, and whether Abdul-Jabbar’s infamous move is the most unstoppable move ever used in the NBA.
When asked how to block it, Abdul-Jabbar told ESPN in 2017: “You don’t.”
Abdul-Jabbar spent 20 seasons in the NBA, and casually won six NBA championships during that time. He also won the NBA MVP award six times, and cemented himself as one of the most prolific scorers of all time.
The legend, who played the beginning of his career with the Milwaukee Bucks and the rest with the L.A. Lakers, is the NBA’s all-time leader in points scored. Abdul-Jabbar is also third all-time in rebounds and blocked shots, which makes sense as to why so many say he is one of the best all-around players in NBA history.
Dwyane Wade’s Eurostep
The now-retired NBA star had years of success on the court with the Miami Heat, which included winning three NBA titles.
When Wade started using the Eurostep, he really was unstoppable. There are videos upon videos of Wade dazzling defenders with the move, and the crowd going absolutely wild.
Wade’s ability to split the defense with his Eurostep, coupled with his ability to draw the foul on the fake if need be, helped the guard to bring the Heat franchise its first NBA championship in 2006, and then again in 2012 and 2013.
D-Wade also used his Eurostep in a handful of clutch situations, and because of that he has cemented himself as one of the best Heat players of all time.
Wade, who retired in 2019, is also a 13-time NBA All-Star and the Heat’s franchise leader in points, games, assists, steals, shots made and shots taken.
His Eurostep move has certainly inspired younger players, including Miami’s own Justise Winslow.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 17, 2016
Anthony Pettis’ showtime kick
Before the UFC absorbed the WEC (World Extreme Cagefighting) in 2010, there was Anthony Pettis and his infamous “Showtime Kick.”
The final fight of WEC was tied heading into the fifth round — until Pettis landed the kick on the right of Benson Henderson’s head. The kick was heard around the world.
Pettis beat Henderson by unanimous decision, and was crowned the final WEC lightweight champion. Since then, many have tried — and failed — to replicate the kick.
The now-32-year-old is still competing nearly 10 years after the kick, and has competed in UFC Welterweight so far in 2019. In January, he knocked out Stephen Thompson for the first time in his entire MMA and kickboxing career. In August, he lost UFC 241 to Nate Diaz by unanimous decision.