With a long, tall 7-foot frame, a soft outside shooting touch and graceful agility, Dirk Nowitzki has become one of the greatest offensive players the NBA has ever seen, but where exactly does the Dallas Mavericks big man rank among the true legends of the game?
In his 15-year career, Nowitzki has become a model of excellence and consistency. He currently sits at No. 17 on the all-time scoring list with 25,051 points, but if he were to score 1,500 points or more in 2013-2014 (he has scored more than 1,500 in a single-season 11 times), he would vault into 12th place on that list next year.
Nowitzki’s combination of skills makes him one of the most unique players to ever grace an NBA floor. His size allows him to dominate the backboards, but he also has the ability to drain the three-point shot, while his athleticism makes him a threat to drive to the basket as well. Due to his unique skillset, Nowitzki is the only player in NBA history to have blocked 100 shots and made 150 three-pointers in the same regular season. Basically, Nowitzki is one of the only players who can defend a team’s opposing center and outscore its guards.
As far as shooters go, Nowitzki is as pure as they come. Throughout his career, he has maintained a 47.5 percent field goal mark, 38.1 percentage from three-point land and has hit 87.7 percent from the free throw stripe. No matter where he is on the floor, Nowitzki knows how to find the bottom of the net.
Although he’s not as highly regarded on the defensive end of the floor, don’t think for a second that he’s slackin’. Nowitzki has still managed to tally more than 1,000 blocks and more than 950 steals in his career.
Here are some of Nowitzki’s other notable achievements:
• Ranks 45th all-time in rebounds with 9,096 (8.2 per game)
• Won the 2007 MVP award
• Is an 11-time All-Star selection
• Won the 2011 NBA Finals MVP award as part of the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks
Considering the numbers and the fact that he still has a couple of good years left in him, where do you think Nowitzki will stand among the greatest players of all-time when he hangs up the sneakers for good?