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Athletes' signature moves that changed the game


Sept. 18, 2019

James Harden's Stepback Three
Simone Biles' double-double
Michael Jordan's fadeaway
Serena Williams' serve
Arguably the best 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.
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, and during that time, he 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
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 the age of 74 in 2016, Ali racked up a total of 65 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
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 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, has without a doubt 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, who is 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.
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.
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