Dirk Nowitzki Is Honored By Joel Embiid Studying Him

Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Dirk Nowitzki Is Honored By Joel Embiid Studying Him


From 1991-1998, one NBA team not led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen was crowned champions. That team was the Houston Rockets led by revolutionizing center, Hakeem Olajuwon and his “Dream Shake.” Olajuwon was one of the most dominant players of the 1990’s and proved it winning back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995.

Fast forward, say, 27 years later. A cocky, flamboyant center has set sail to revive his defeated franchise. Joel Embiid, and his partner in crime, Ben Simmons, are reviving the Philadelphia 76ers. Comparing Embiid’s style (not greatness) of play to Olajuwon’s, one which includes impressive post moves, mid-range jumpers, and tenacious blocked shots is respectable.

Looking at Embiid now, one could easily think that his idol growing up indeed was Hakeem Olajuwon. But this is not the case. A couple of years ago, Embiid shared that Dirk Nowitzki was the one who impacted him the most when he started playing basketball.



Last month, Embiid refreshed his statement and cited Nowitzki as a player he studied with the goal of becoming better in the middle of the floor. 

During an appearance on the Takeoff with John Clark podcast, Dirk Nowitzki now revealed that he’s honored by Embiid studying him, and that Embiid texted him after the Sixers played in Dallas last month. Nowitzki then went on to praise the 76ers big man:


“He texted me the day after, and said, ‘I had to show respect to you and shoot it on your silhouette.’ My silhouette is now on the Mavs’ floor, and he said he had to shoot one for me. That made me of course feel really good. I’m honored that he thinks it’s a good shot to have…

…It [his signature shot] looks pretty good, I’ve got to say. He’s so big, but he’s so agile and he’s so athletic and he’s still got the touch. He’s a wonderful player and so much fun to watch. It almost looked better than the real thing, I’ve got to say…

…I feel like he’s got the body of a little smaller Shaq, but he’s got the shot from the outside. He’s got the finesse like Hakeem a little bit, the footwork. All the best centers that ever played, he’s got to rank up there with all of them for his all-around game — inside, outside, defense. He loves blocking shots. You can tell he gets energized off of it. He’s a force on both ends, so he’s got to rank up there with the best of them.”


You may also like...