Dirk Nowitzki moved into 10th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list earlier this week. Nowitzki recently had Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich call him “arguably, the greatest pure shooter” the league has ever seen.
Now his own head coach, Rick Carlisle, believes Nowitzki will go down as one of the 12 greatest players of all time. Carlise also believes the 35-year-old Nowitzki won’t be slowing down anytime sooner.
“I think there’s a certain criteria where you can say pretty much for certain that he’s one of the top 12 all time,” Carlisle said in an interview that will air Thursday night on the “NBA on ESPN Radio” pregame show.
“And that is, there’s only been 12 guys that have been 10-time All-Stars, [NBA] Finals MVP and league MVP. So I think that firmly puts him in the top 12. And then getting into the top 10 in all-time scoring validates that even more.”
I love Dirk Nowitzki as a player, but I’m not sure he’s making the cut for the top 12.
Now in his 16th season, Nowitzki has 26,733 career points, a Finals MVP and a regular season MVP to add to his resume. The other 11 players in NBA history with those accolades are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Moses Malone, Shaquille O’Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon.