We are, perhaps, too quick to refer to your garden-variety defender-shaking crossover as an “ankle-breaker.” The phrase just seems woefully inaccurate to me now that I’ve seen a dude crumple into a pile on the court after actually suffering an injury trying to change direction guarding a ball-handler.
The perspective corrective comes to us from the 2017 William Jones Cup, an international basketball tournament held in Taiwan featuring national teams from several FIBA Asia members (Iran, Iraq, the Philippines, South Korea, Japan, India and two entrants from Chinese Taipei) plus squads from Canada and Lithuania. In the closing seconds of a game on the sixth day of the tournament, Iraq defender Hussein Talib tried to pressure Gilas Pilipinas forward Kevin Ferrer.
What initially seemed like a run-of-the-mill stumble and fall was soon revealed to be something much more significant. Talib remained on the floor after the final buzzer sounded on the Philippines’ 84-75 win over Iraq, and wound up needing to be carried off the court by teammates, coaches and training staff. Adding injury to insult: about as bad as it gets.
For Ferrer, a 24-year-old forward who plays professionally for Ginebra San Miguel of the Philippine Basketball Association, the opposite is true. Before the end of this week, many of us had no idea who he was. Now, we know he’s a guy who, under the right circumstances, can literally injure an opponent with his handles. I’m not sure Kyrie Irving’s ready to give up the Ankletaker moniker, but if he ever considers franchising it out to territories beyond the borders of the continental United States, he should look Ferrer up. Dude’s the real deal; we’ve got his bona fides on tape.
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