“Carried franchise for almost 20 years, Finals MVP, regular season MVP, 6th all-time? Wish I was a 1-trick pony.”
In case you missed it, NBA Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar called Nowitzki a “one-trick pony” and questioned his dominance. Here is the full quote.
Dirk Nowitzki’s shot is very hard to block, but I don’t think that he was able to have a dominant career because he couldn’t do other things. If he could have shot like that and rebounded and played defense and blocked shots, then he would have been all-around, and he would have gotten more credit. He was like a one-trick pony. You want guys that can shoot like that on your team. I’m not saying that he lacked value, but he would have been considered at a higher level if he had done more on the court other than just shoot the ball.
This is a more than the usual “my era plays such better basketball than today” crap that so many veterans trying to hang onto their glory spout. It just sells Nowitzki short. First off, this was not just Ray Allen spacing the floor at the end of his career, Nowitzki’s value came in his ahead-of-his-time ability to get that space at the elbow out to the arc, then help teammates take advantage of it. He isn’t just a shooter, he’s the best shooting big man ever. Also, Nowitzki was a better rebounder, a better passer, a defender than he gets credit for — and for stretches he was a dominant player.
Does he have Kareem’s resume? No. Nobody does. On paper KAJ has a better resume than Jordan. But we should not sell Dirk’s dominance short.