Steve Nash Didn’t Expect Dirk Nowitzki To Become An All-Time Great

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Steve Nash Didn’t Expect Dirk Nowitzki To Become An All-Time Great

 

Dirk Nowitzki has had one of the best NBA careers in league history. He is an NBA champion, won the league’s MVP and the Finals MVP award. He was part of 13 All-Star teams and 12 All-NBA Teams and is one of the few members of the 50-40-90 club. Nowitzki is ranked 6th in all-time-scoring, 7th in all-time defensive-rebounds and 2nd in all-time NBA Finals free throw percentage. He once made 82 consecutive free throws made in the regular season which is good for the third-longest streak of all-time, as well as 26 consecutive free throws made in the Finals, the longest streak of all-time. On top of that Dirk is one of only three players with at least 30,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 blocks, one of four players with an NBA Playoff career average of 25 points and 10 rebounds, one of three players to surpass the mark of 1,000 in both three-pointers and blocks for the career, and one of four players to surpass the marks of 30,000 in points and 10,000 in rebounds for the career.

Young NBA fans growing up now will see the likes of Karl-Anthony Town, Kristaps Porzingis and Joel Embiid knocking down threes from the outside, but what they don’t realize is Nowitzki paved the way for every shot making big man that can step away from the basket and be a deadly weapon. Nowitzki didn’t just create the true definition of a “stretch 4 and stretch 5” he revolutionized those positions forever. Previously, players were drafted out of college into the NBA purely on their size and ability to rebound the ball and possibly block shots. Now, NBA scouts are asking “Can he step away from the basket? Can he pick-and-pop? Can he handle the ball? Can he score? What’s his range?” All these questions are now relevant, because Nowitzki has dominated and scored the basketball in ways in which we’ve never seen big men put the ball in the basket for such a long period of time.

If that wasn’t enough, Nowitzki also invented his signature shot which is now an NBA norm – the one legged fade away jumper. The likes of Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade have all added his shot to their arsenal, as Nowitzki made a living of torching opponents with it. What was once thought of as a bad and unbalanced shot, Nowitzki perfected and made it his go to move, which has still proven to be unstoppable even to this day.

For NBA purists, Nowitzki’s impact, excellence and greatness will never be forgotten. He is an NBA MVP, Finals MVP, a part of the 30,000-point club, a part of the 50-40-90 club, the most decorated and successful international player ever and an NBA Champion in one of the very best individual playoff and Finals runs you are likely to ever see as the Dallas Mavericks were crowned champions in 2011.

But when Dirk Nowitzki joined the NBA, numerous players and coaches alike didn’t believe Nowitzki would even last in the league, let alone break all kinds of records for a big man. One of them was Steve Nash – Dirk’s long-time teammate and one of his best friends.

Nash talked with Mavs.com about how Dirk’s career, and revealed that he didn’t expect Dirk to become an all-time great:

 

“I don’t really think you can ever say a guy is going to win MVP, especially when he doesn’t come into the league with an immense reputation. I thought he could be an All-Star for sure, but I didn’t know he would go down as one of the all-time greats,”

“He truly has become an historic player, not only for the Mavericks, but in the history of the game. Now, in a sense, it’s conceivable because of all the hard work he put in and you watched him progress year after year. But I know at the start I think it’s impossible to say, ’Yeah, I thought he would have the career he had because he was so unheralded.’”

 

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