On Tuesday night, Dallas Maverick’s Power Forward and legend, Dirk Nowitzki joined an elite group of players as he became only the 6th player in NBA history to top the 30,000 point plateau for his career.
Joining the likes of NBA Scoring king Kareem Abdul Jabar, The Mail Man Karl Malone, Kobe, MJ, and Wilt. Dirk became only the 3rd player to score 30K points with one team (Kobe and Malone), but perhaps it’s more the manor of which he did it. The fall-away, off balance, step back jumper that Dirk has made his signature shot.
Even more impressive is taking into perspective the team around him. Wilt had players like Elgin Baylor and Jerry West to help alleviate the burden of scoring, while opening up scoring lanes. Kareem had Oscar Robertson, Baylor, Worthy and a guy named Magic to help him, Jordan and Pippen are hands down one of the top duos of all time, probably joined by Kobe and Shaq, and Stockton and Malone.
Name that guy for Dirk. Is it Steve Nash? Michael Finley? Jason Kid? Nash, one of the biggest names, played the longest with Dirk, 6 seasons, averaging 13.5 points per game and never cracking more than 7.9 dimes a game between 1999 & 2004, well before his MVP seasons in Phoenix. Michael Finley was the corner stone of the Mavs franchise from 1997 to 2005, before he joined the Spurs. But as time went on and Dirk became the guy in Dallas, Finley’s production dropped off. Averaging 22.2 points a game at one point while Nowitzki was working his way into the Don Nelson system, to 15.7 a game at the end of his time in Dallas.
Then there is Jason Kidd. Yes he played 8 season with the Mavs, but only 4 with Dirk, never averaging more than 10.3 ppg or 9.1 apg. Yes Kidd was a staple of that 2011 Mavericks Championship team, but what stands out to everyone was the way Dirk Nowitzki carried the Mavericks over Miami in that NBA Finals.
What makes the 30,000 point mark so much more amazing, is knowing Dirk was literally the only scoring option in Dallas for so long. There are Hall of Fame players that played along side Dirk, but they were either well before, or way passed their prime when he got them.
Through the triple teams, double teams, and defense focusing solely to stop him, The Big German was able to amass 30,0005 points in 19 season, thus far. If he were to keep up this pace, by the end of next season, Dirk will have passed the original trend setter, Wilt Chamberlain for 5th all time.
As a Spurs fan, it is always hard for me to give any credit to a Mavericks player, but watching the battles between Dirk and Timmy were magical. Dirk has done something by himself once again. It’s only a matter of time before the all time European Born scorer joins the rest of these prolific scorers in the Basketball Hall Of Fame. Congrats Dirk, it’s been an absolute pleasure.