Thursday , Aug , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Dirk Nowitzki’s Current Rank – Better than Malone, Garnett, and Barkley?

The German Bomber has a great career. He is showing no signs of slowing down either. Did you ever think the guy would be here? Yep, I didn’t. This question now has to be posed if it had not already – Has he surpassed Karl Malone, Kevin Garnett, and Charles Barkley? This is a serious question. Before having a grand historic 2010-2011 season, no one should dare think about it. Today, things changed dramatically. What’s scarier? Nowitzki remains efficient.

Old thoughts are challenged. Sometimes, they become shattered. Derrick Rose started the thing by becoming the youngest league MVP ever. Dirk Nowitzki finished it off by demolishing the label of “soft” and “weak minded” by beating the best to become the best. Long standing dynasties and empires fell apart. Can one historic season change all of that?

Yep.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves quickly and claim that Dirk is better than all of those guys without examining the bloody thing on a per player basis. Shall we dance?

Against Karl Malone

Malone is The Mail Man. Scottie Pippen is right that the Mail Man does not deliver on Sundays. Zero rings. Zero Finals MVP. He did get two league MVPs and more total points than Michael Jordan. He played with another top 50 All Time Hall of Famer, John Stockton. Jeff Hornacek was an underrated fantastic shooter and Bryon Russell was a solid defender.

Dirk Nowitzki has a league MVP.  He won the title with Jason Kidd, who is a future Hall of Famer. Then again, Kidd is over the hill. He has not been an All Star since 2008. Yes, I know Kidd was an All Star in 2010, but he was only selected to replace an injured Kobe Bryant.

Malone played with a point guard who is arguably better than Kidd. His team went up against Jordan and Pippen, but Dirk had to go up against the defending champion Kobe’s Lakers. Dirk led the Mavs to a convincing sweep. Karl and company did not do that at all.

Winner – Dirk Nowitzki. Malone has the better numbers, but no hardware. Remember, Dirk’s Mavs are mediocre.

Against Kevin Garnett

KG has a league MVP, but so does Dirk. They both have rings and been to the Finals twice. However, KG is a Defensive Player of the Year. With that in mind, Nowitzki is still with his original team and remains the leader. Garnett was traded and had to support future Hall of Famer Paul Pierce in Boston along with another future Hall of Famer, Ray Allen. Garnett played with two other superstars and a rising star in Rajon Rondo.

Again, Nowitzki’s cast is mediocre and he led them to get the job done.

Winner – Dirk Nowitzki

Against Charles Barkley

Barkley was one of the kings of rebounding who can score with the best. He has a league MVP. However, he does not have a Finals MVP and championship. He played with Kevin Johnson and Dan Majerle then teamed up with Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen, and Clyde Drexler. Charles had some of the best for teammates and couldn’t win it all.

Winner – Dirk Nowitzki

Yep, Dirk Nowitzki’s performance and leadership through the 2011 playoffs catapulted him over Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, and Kevin Garnett. I would not blame anyone for picking the three guys over Dirk today. All of these guys are elite players. However, I cannot do it because we witnessed a grandiose feat that pitted Dirk’s Mavs against a dangerous Portland team, defending champions Kobe’s Lakers, Durant and Westbrook’s Thunder, and the Wade, James, Bosh trio in Miami.

That was stacked competition one after another. The Mavs defeated them with only one true superstar. Kidd is old, Shawn Marion is no longer an All Star, Caron Butler was out, Jason Terry is a sixth man, and Tyson Chandler was fine even though he didn’t put up superstar numbers.

Dirk is ahead of the three other great power forwards based on these facts. He did not have much to work with. As the leader, Dirk help make them become a balanced group to carve through the best teams loaded with killer talent to win it all.

Wow. Just amazing.

For anyone who disagrees, please explain your reasoning besides stat whoring.

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Questions – jaynuween@gmail.com

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