Dirk still hard at work in his 30s

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS (CHICAGO OFFICE) – It’s now Wednesday, the day after. Has Dirk Nowitzki missed a shot yet?

Sure seems like he left Game 1 hotter than a man smoking a cigarette at a gas pump. No matter what the Thunder did in Game 1 — and really, what could they do? — Dirk kept making shots from everywhere: the rim, mid-range and especially the free-throw line, setting a playoff record for consecutive makes with 24.

Our main man Randy Galloway at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram summed up the plight of the Thunder pretty well:

Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals gave us the answer.

Q — Who stops Dirk for the Oklahoma City Thunder?

Let’s see now:

The Thunder ran Serge Ibaka at him, then Nick Collison, and after that it was a collection of Kevin Durant, Thabo Sefolosha, while James Harden took a brief spin, and even Russell Westbrook got his turn.

Who will be next for Game 2?

Barry Switzer? Will Rogers? Any other famous citizens of Oklahoma who could possibly get a shot?

A — There appears to be nobody who stops Dirk.

But check back Thursday in Game 2.

That epic 48-point performance helped earn the Mavs a 1-0 lead in the West finals. It also confirmed what we’ve been seeing from Dirk all year, that he’s playing at MVP level here in his 30s, when most players start reaching for ice bags and a breather.

The reason is simple, really: Shooters are always the last to go. Dirk is enjoying a long and productive career the same reason Reggie Miller did and Ray Allen continues to do. The exception is Dirk at 32 is ahead of Reggie and Allen at 32, mainly because he’s a 7-footer who’s virtually un-guardable and also chips in on the glass.

That’s not to say Dirk is MVP of the league’s all-30 team. As impressive as Dirk’s been this season and particularly last night — and nobody ever shot the ball better than Dirk did in Game 1, even in their 20s — he trails a few other old guys on the list. But just a few.

Here’s a list of some filthy players in their dirty 30s who delayed the aging process. You decide where Dirk fits:

Karl Malone: He’s the oldest MVP winner at 36, going from delivering the mail to delivering Rogaine. Malone kept himself in supreme shape and also transformed his game, from a bruising behemoth who lived in the paint and the free throw line to a jump shooter who became deadly from 18 feet. That added years to Malone’s career. Never could become wise enough in his old age to figure a way to win a title, though.

Michael Jordan: Second-oldest at 35 to win MVP, and really, from a consistency standpoint, nobody in their 30s compares to Jordan. Maybe Barry Bonds, but we (wink-wink) suspect how he did it. After 30, Jordan won three titles, made first-team All-NBA four times and MVP twice. He also made trainer Tim Grover very famous.

Hakeem Olajuwon: After 30, he won both of his NBA titles and was named MVP in 1994. He also dismantled the following year’s MVP, David Robinson, in the playoffs. You could call it a Dream Sequence.

Steve Nash: Remember, he was Dirk’s less-accomplished teammate until Mavericks owner Mark Cuban refused to pay Nash (instead, Cuban gave money to Erick Dampier; go figure). Nash then went to Phoenix and transformed his career, winning two MVPs (at age 31 and 32) before Dirk won his only one. Nash would probably have an NBA title had he not been shoved into the scorer’s table by Robert Horry. And he’s still going strong today.

Bill Russell: He wasn’t a better player in his 30s than he was in his 20s, but better than most. Russell was named Sports Illustrated‘s Sportsman of the Year at 35.

Kevin Garnett: He was Defensive Player of the Year and an NBA champ at age 32, when he somehow found a burst of energy after so many unfulfilled years in Minnesota. If you left the Wolves to join Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, you’d feel rejuvenated, too.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: He was MVP at 30 and 33, Finals MVP at 38 and won 5 of his 6 championships in his 30s. Nobody got more mileage out of one shot (sky hook).

The difference between Dirk and all of the above? He’s the only one on the floor right now, adding to his over-30 resume.

So, what say you?

175 Comments

  1. eliot says:

    We can forget Howard plays well for Miami in game 3 against Chicago

  2. HOWARD TO THUNDER says:

    Can someone please write about the possibility of the Thunder making a trade for D’wight Howard next season? I know I’m off subject, but I would love to see Howard,Ibaka, and Durant on the same team. No disrespect to Perk, but he is a good bargaining chip, along with others of course. Why hasn’t anyone talked about this possibility?

  3. aasd says:

    Brian Scalabrine is hands down best to touch the ball… ever!

  4. Naptums says:

    kobe SUCKS! that’s why the writer didn’t include him. lol! long wait is over for Dirk and Kidd.. 2011 champs!

  5. MJKOBEDIRK says:

    I LOVE MJ KOBE AND DIRK!

  6. dn41 says:

    I think not all 24 free-trow of dirk are coming from fouls I think 2 or more are from defensive 3 sec. am i right?

  7. Emigee says:

    CAN PEOPLE STOP TALKING ABOUT KOBE FOR ONCE HE IS NOWHERE THIS SEASON AND BESIDES THERE ARE 30 TEAMS WITH SO MANY PLAYERS. so what if he was not mentioned in this article. please be for real for once and stick to the point.

  8. KOBE24 says:

    Where’s Kobe Bryant? Kobe helps the laker team to win the championship twice and he was 31 to 32 years old at time.

  9. Air Jordan says:

    MJ no doubt. He led the Bulls to a 72-10 record. Beat that.

  10. enzo says:

    Haters everywhere..go away…Dirk is a great guy, very humble and very talented. He may not be in your top 10, 20 or 50 list but he will surely get there. To those who say that he cannot play defense, get real. He can rebound, block shots, get a steal or two and most of the time bother the guy he’s defending (not as much as the great defenders do, but still can).

  11. Dan says:

    Brian Scalabrine: 1 Ring……Dirk Nowitzki: No Rings……….Also, Brian won his ring AT the age of 30. Just sayin’ son

  12. Follower says:

    MJ hands down…

    Dirk needs to have a ring to prove his steel. That game one is just a pre statement..

    but still, give credit to Dirk as the other 3 players mentioned (MJ, Mailman and Kareem) were long history.

    we shall see how far he carries the MAVS. Go Mavs!

  13. dirk45 says:

    I wonder if some people read more than the voting box before they put a comment. KB doesn’t belong on this list because he rapidly declined at 32.
    If Dirk really belongs at this list can be discussed in 4 years. His mentor Holger Geschwinder always said to him that to deliver his full potential he has to shoot 60/50/95 consistently. If he really gets there he will definitely have a shot at a place besides MJ.

    I would say it this way. I don’t know if he is top 10 or 20 or 50, nobody can really tell for sure. But among the top superstars of all times he is definitely one of the most humble and unselfish players.

  14. Odyseuss says:

    I think the officiating didnt have any influence on Dirks Performance. It just gave him the Chance to show his free thrwo ability. But u need to see that he hit barely every shot where they didnt make a call with a hand in his face and mb everyone with bottom of the net and many with hands in his face. So if he didnt get that many calls and mb some were cheap he would have just made most of those shots – let him miss a few then mb its still a 43-Point Perfomance with about 80% from the field outisde the point against an engaged Defense – and that would have been all time greats playoff stats too. u cant take it Dirks fault he did it at the line. But even this shown us how hard worker he is. doenst matter the size – 100% free throws ion 24 shots on a playoffgame is result of hard work and accuancy over years – thats one all time great worthy effort too ;)

  15. DirkIsTheBeast says:

    Damn. That LAKERS SUCK guy keeps on just approving comments. lol

    Well, I do believe this is bias. Dirk is the man for now but Kobe got more great moments to look at. Not sure how the writer missed Kobe.

  16. landside says:

    All mentioned players is worth of the huge fame. But I voted for Kareem, because I think he did really a lot in his 30’s. And I think that it is not suit time for Dirk, Steve and Kevin to be compared with these great player’s. because they still plays nowadays, and surely can achieve more. About Dirk… When he will finish a carrier I am sure he will be named as the one of the best european players EVER. He will stand beside players like Sabonis, Galis, Petrovic and Herreros! :)

  17. MJ 4EVER!!!!! says:

    MJ23 IS DA BEST!!!!!

  18. tata says:

    Kareem was winning championships. Dirk won a conference playoff game 1. Dallas is getting way too cocky. Does ANYBODY expect Dirk to shoot 80% the rest of the series? The reality is they would be hard pressed to make as many baskets as they made in the last five games if they took the same shots alone, unguarded in the gym.

  19. jolatz says:

    if kobe is to be included in the list, he must first try to win a championship without being paired up with an allstar big men. Kobe only won championships with Shaq and now with Gasol. MJ and the guys on the list carry their team to the top by making them feel good and better with them on the court. Kobe doesn’t have that.

  20. Jeffrey says:

    I love watching the Lakers lose!

  21. Jeffrey says:

    You Laker fans can suck it! I’m so happy your team got knocked out of the playoffs, hell you guys got swept! What now bitches?

  22. HandsomeFungusBeetle says:

    I’m German. I’m a Dirk Fan. Officiating was poor. Period.

  23. Dirk says:

    Dirk’s performance last night only shows just how much OVERRATED bryant is…. imagine if kb did that in the WCF, i’m sure the whole world will be crazy and praise him.

  24. Laker4L says:

    You got to mention Duncan on this list. Aside from this year, he has put on an all-star performance in his 30’s. Wilt was still a 20-20 guy well into his 30’s. I don’t think Dirk would even be in the top-ten of 30+ year players.

  25. Brendan says:

    forget Kobe, the most glaring omission here is of Brian Scalabrine. shocking piece of journalism.

  26. Yum says:

    I am a little biased I would say MJ hands down and I agree with most others that it is a crime to leave Kobe off but I still think that Kareem was the most dominant player that i saw it was like he would walk down the court if there was no fast break and the lakers would give him the ball and he would shoot his sky hook it was like cheating, he was so consistently unstoppable and he blocked shots and rebounded., and thats not to mention how many people never even came inside because he was there. Kareem was the complete package and a perfect compliment to a fast breaking team. they were Showtime.and when the show slowed up it was Kareem time. and he did his thing. check the defense for those other players or the defensive presence. that is were Kareem pushed past them all cause he was their equal on offense. But they are not his on defense.

  27. dabz says:

    im a fan of kobe, and i think he is 32 by now. how come that he was not listed in here :)

  28. Kalvin says:

    Seriously, counting rings as THE sign of who’s better is crazy. If that’s the case, then Derek Fisher is better than Chris Paul or Steve Nash or John Stockton. The way Lamar Odom is better than Charles Barkley or Karl Malone. haha

  29. Ariel says:

    MJ all the way, no way to question that. Years are teaching us how great he was.

  30. Leonard says:

    No matter how goog Dirk is playing, Miami will still win the playoff.

  31. MJ Fan says:

    I hope MJ read this..youre putting malicious allegations that he used substance on his 30’s to be consistent..hmm i hope MJ sue you for libel!!

  32. KB24 says:

    No Kobe? That’s quite unacceptable…

  33. Alan Hatch says:

    How could you not put john stockton in this field of names? if it were not for stockton there would be no Karl malone please

  34. BULLS BALLS says:

    MJ couldn’t win a championship without Pippen who was 20-7-7 guy.. The best point forward of all time..

  35. MJ23 says:

    MJ basketball skill doesn’t diminish as he gets older, while KOBE at his 30’s GOT SWEPT by the Dallas… Kobe got Pau and Andrew by his side but then, it looks like that they are not the defending champions… Laker fans are using most non-sense excuses that LA got tired of winning what so ever… This means that in the LEADERSHIP standpoint and Mentality, MJ is way far from Kobe… So… for the KOBE fans out there, please stop comparing your player to MJ because, he will never win his 6th championship under his name ONLY like the way MJ did.

  36. thedoc says:

    im sorry dirk is a great player but like the playoffs aren’t over and the success that mj, kareem, russell, and hakeem seem to be way better than wat dirk has done so far. those men did incredible things to win championships, and dirk is still on his way

  37. spl says:

    Your list mentions a lot of regular season accolades (MVP, 1st teams, etc), but then the question asks who is the best 30+ ‘playoff’ performer. Not consistent. Also, why wouldn’t Kobe be on this list. He won 2 of his 5 titles after turning 30 including two finals MVP’s while remaining All NBA and 1st Team all defense.

  38. iggy says:

    you forgot kobe, whos won two titles and been to the finals three times in a row at 30 while winning both finals mvps, and vastly improving his post play and playmaking. and whos been on all defence and all offense 1st team since 30. and one league mvp as well. dirk is an incredible player but unless he gets his ring this year (which i hope he does or rose!) he will still be within the same category of malone and other great bigs with no rings. not knock on dirk though he cant be stopped right now

  39. I DNT KNW HOW DIRK IS IN THIS LIST THEY SHOULD PUT KOBE INSTED ………

  40. KOBE BRYANT IS BETTER THAN DIRK……….

  41. Andy says:

    Nash would of won a title if his Suns kept their heads in check and didn’t leave the bench and showed a little composure… sorry Suns fans that’s the way it is…

  42. fgf says:

    i think jordan is the best of all tine even some people think not that

  43. LAKERS SUCK says:

    Who would even CONSIDER Bill Russell, he was great, but NOT a scorer!

  44. mean machine says:

    we discussed two weeks ago if nowitzki is one of the ten best player. although i dont think, that he is ————dirk gave the best answer last night. In how many playoff- games in the last twenty years did a player such a performance like he did?

  45. Boom goes the dynomite says:

    For everyone complaining about Kobe not being on the list, he’s only been 30 for 2 years now. The players mentioned are either well into retirement or in their mid-late 30’s. This was supposed to be more about Dirk anyways. So everyone stop hatin’ on each other.

  46. UReallySuck says:

    i really like those polls….they show how many haters Dirk has…but for a real fighter haters are just his motivation….keep it up guys

  47. Superstarss says:

    jordan broke records with age 39 aand 40!

  48. Aleksandar Mishkov says:

    It is funny how one great playoff game can put you above the likes of Karl Malone/Kareem. It is just sad. Well, i suppose new kids on the block :P :D :)

  49. marapo says:

    hey for all you kobe lovers kobe isnt and wont ever be top five all time i mean even comparing players in diferent positions is the stupidest thing ever and if i did pick top five players id choose one each position and there is no way id choose kobe over MJ as a SG

    • KC says:

      It’s clear that it’s a subjective opinion. Charles Barkley thinks that Kobe belongs in the top 5, and I respect his opinion (he’s been pretty accurate about this postseason) over random forum posters’ opinions. The guy has 5 rings, his work ethic is ridiculous, and he has the extra will to win that a lot of players simply don’t have or haven’t demonstrated yet. I love how people’s memories are so selective. Kobe’s slower now because he’s older and he’s been injured, but it’s impossible to take away from him how unstoppable he was for so many years. It’s not just points scored; Kobe’s been first team defense quite a few times–I think he won it again this year. Do I like Kobe? No, he’s arrogant and of questionable moral fibre. I do, however, think he should at least be in the discussion about top 5 of all time.

  50. johnson says:

    how come Hakeem Olajuwon is not included?

  51. KOBESUX says:

    Would somebody create a lakers/kobe forum so we dont have to have these idi0ts take over these post with there stupid comments!!!

  52. Brent says:

    Kobe is garbage. Lakers won’t ever win a title without Phil Jackson. Period.

  53. Fishmac says:

    It’s funny to follow the discussion. Let’s say Dirk is a great player and he likes to play and he is capable to play! And if he’s rated top 10 or top 50 or top whatever, I think he does not care at all. He just wants to play and to earn that ring.

  54. Rennie Carter says:

    Its funny how one game and alot of bad foul calls just putting Dirk in the greatest of all time, flat out this is a buch of crap first of all why Kobe is not on this list ,and for the past 9 1/2 years Dirk has always a good team around him if you look at the players he has played with in the past years he should have won at least 2 rings _ Antawn Jamison , Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Peja Stojakovic (can just play good now), Caron Butler, Micheal Finley, Shawn Marion, Antawn Walker, Josh Howard( dont forget how good he was in 05-06 season), Juwan Howard, Jamal Mashburn, Nick Van Exel, Jerry Stackhouse, Devin Harris, he’s just a ok player always on a good team same as Paul Pierce,

    • gutix says:

      man, are you serious? Have you copied the rosters to post this?????? I only see 2 hall of famers in this list. Of those 2, Nash played with him only his first years when he was a potential good player, not the star he became in phoenix, stupid Cuban, that move cost him at least 2 rings I think. And Kidd, c’mon! he came to the mavs at 35!!!!

      You must be retard or a Dirk hater, Stojakovic came in the middle of this season, Butler played only half this season, Finley and Mashburn maybe played a couple of season with him, and they are only good players but to put in this list Walker, Howard, Van Excel, Stackhouse, Jamison, Harris, It reminds me a lot of the critics to Lebron, he supposedly had a good team but he leaves and the Cavs finish almost last and win the draft. That wouldn’t happen to Dallas, I think the difference this year is that finally Dirk has a big man in the middle, and that’s Chandler, that’s why he has a real shot at the title this year.

  55. LA4Life88 says:

    Kobe could more dominant then all these guys by far. Although he’s just trying to get all his players to get the confidence to be champs for years. Plus with all his injuries on his knees/ankle, keeps him for practice. Kobe will win his 6 ring next year and probably two more before retires to put an exclamaton point on his career.

  56. tokwa says:

    MJ of course

    who can beat 3 seconds shots and a win… not only once but couple of times in a crucial games!!!

    That’s consistency!

  57. D-mavs says:

    People have got to unerstand the topic of this post- he is not talking about greatest players ever he is talking about players who have seasoned well and players who manage there game well so age doesn’t have such a big effect on them- that’s why he put dirk in there who’s still getting better at the age of 32 although it does help with that strong bench which takes the temperature.
    Stop talking about rings as well- rings are only given to good teams. You don’t need a ring to prove ur a good player cause a team cannot win the championship with just 1 superstar who they have to rest their power on that one player. Perfect example is Cavs past 2 years easily the best player in the league- LeBron yet still get oused by good all rounded teams- Boston, Orlando.
    Also the people who said Dirk’s points were all free throws- it’s not as if there give away points- he’s still gotta earn them at the line and the fact he’s getting fouled for a reason- he’s just too lethal at shooting.
    And plz don’t blame it on the refs that just petty and what football managers do.

  58. Adam says:

    LoL at kobe fans.

    kobe isn’t listed because he’s a proven choker in the playoffs.

    • KC says:

      OK, I’m not a kobe fan, I kind of dislike him, but calling Kobe a choker is just plain hating. It’s true that his shooting # in the clutch is merely average, but when coaches around the league were asked who they wanted to take the last shot, almost all of them said Kobe. Kobe has hit gobs and gobs of game winners (I know he’s taken a lot of them too, and his shot selection stinks sometimes). However, it’s a pretty big leap to go from ‘overrated in the clutch” to “choker.”

  59. Be4Real says:

    Dirk is a 7 ft shooting guard, listed as a PF b/c of his height and size. As KD said last night, he’s a 7 ft jump shooter. That’s why he so “unguardable”. He’s 7 ft tall w/ a release above his head. He creates a mismatch, b/c he plays like a shooting guard being defended by a post man. You can’t put a SG on his b/c he’s too tall and post men aren’t the most effective permiter defenders.

    He’s not one of the GOAT b/c he doesn’t have a strong all-around game. He’s a great shooter/scorer. When matched up to other 7 footers (active and former), he doesn’t match up w/ the on the skill supposedly held by PF’s. He has a sub-par post game (though he has made improvements to his back-to-basket play), doesn’t defend the paint/hangs out on the perimeter, doesnt rebound or block shots. He’s a shooting guard.

  60. champ27nnj says:

    dirk is the 3rd best player in the nba rite now… behind kobe an drose… u cant guard dirk 7 ft who shoots 1 foot fadeaways.. lmao ish is crazy… i dont no about him bn top 10 all time but hes def top 3 n the nba…. kobe is the best player in the league cause hes the most successful an has the most accomplishments @ this point in his career.. how can u say kobe doesnt dominate in his 30’s win he won bac 2 bac finals mvp’s… @ 30..ppl hate kobe i dont no y hes the 2nd best player 2 ever play the game PERIOD….

  61. Dirk is not top 10 all time. Get real.

    • Bill says:

      without a ring and favor from the ref he’s still a nobody…..

      • LAKERS SUCK says:

        ummm, I kind of agree

      • dallasMAVS says:

        THE mav’s will sweep if the thunder cant stop him, thats just the truth.(KD is still a beast and if your a fan of basketball your a fan of KD)

    • LAKERS SUCK says:

      He isn’t right now, but in a couple years, count him in! (look at his numbers and you’ll know what i’m saying)

  62. whattt??? says:

    honestly, be forreall yall this shouldnt have even been an poll, hands down the G.O.A.T 23

  63. Any all-star in their 30’s work hard. He was awesome in game 1

  64. Hilton Fortet says:

    That was pretty good performance for Dirk in Gm1 24/24 Ft and took 24 shots making a good %. Anyways Dirk is NOT A TOP 10 PLayer of all Time!!! If he doesn’t win a championship this year fail again… Loss a series up 3-1, loss in Finals up
    2-0 vs Miami, First Number 1 seed to lose to an 8 Seed Warriors in a 7 Game series… This is NBA unlike any sports where a one guy can literally win a team for you, sure theres sum role players, but its now a Star Driven LEague!! All I say DIRK HAS 0 RINGS as of now! NBA Is different in other sports where you need HARDWARE AKA RINGS…

  65. Rodi says:

    to get back to yesterday`s game: here`s what brooks said about nowitzki`s freethrows: “Twenty-four free throws … that’s a lot of free throws. But he earned them. We fouled him. We have to do a better job of guarding him.” that doesn`t sound to me that he`s accusing the referees of favouring dirk with their foul calls on okc as some guys commented. and brooks knows a bit more about basketball and is more involved in this game than anybody here.
    seems that some people always have to believe in a conspiracy when obviously there`s nothing wrong ^^

    • Mingo says:

      LOL, you aren’t very bright now are you??? You ever heard of the league fining players and coaches large amounts of money if they talk bad about the officiating??? Those press conferences don’t mean anything. The coaches and players just say the most politically correct thing they can so they don’t raise any heat and get fined. if you actually watched the game and saw his and the rest of the coaching staff’s expressions and reactions to the calls you would know that he really thinks that the calls were horrible and completely unwarranted for the most part.

    • Nada says:

      Brook is just a nice young coach so he didn’t say much even though he knew about the official call. Had Jackson been the coach, it’s probably all over the news already…

  66. jason says:

    jordan, jordan, jordan…he will still be the greatest of all time after we come back to earth again

  67. Carlo says:

    if Dirk should’ve gone to the line 3-4 times Durant shouldn’t’ve gone once; they gave him FT for a foul on the floor as he was driving, he was given THREE FREETHROWS from a three pointer in which Terry didn’t touch him but he still flopped to the ground; late in the game he was driving into defenders, he flopped backwards and it was FTs, Marion fouled out on a nonfoul, Terry got a Tech for something Perkins did earlier and that almost broke Marions nose; get all of your mouths off the Thunders genitals and watch the game

  68. celticsbabyyaaaaaaaaaaaaa says:

    It’s because of kobe’s off-court troubles. He broke the law and the law of marriage. The man should be in jail.

  69. Rodi says:

    c`mon guys, it`s ridiculous to say which player was the best of all time. i mean, there are perhaps 5 guys who had the greatest impact on the game in history, and mj certainly belongs to this group . but how many of the others have most of us seen live? chamberlain? i don`t think so. and even if there`s anybody who saw them all playing, he wouldn`t be able to compare their achievements because of the totally different times they played . the game just changed too much, in all aspects.
    so you can say mj`s one of the five best guys in history, but you can`t put him on the top spot, at least not in an objective way. things like that are just very biased!

  70. Nick says:

    Jordan was the oldest player to score over 50! at 38 for him to score more than 50 points is just amazing

    • Mingo says:

      no doubt, I agree with you and it was amazing, but you have to admit. That wizard team sucked bad, it’s not like he was playing around good players, he was shooting almost every possession just because the rest of the team sucked so much lol…

      • Bingo says:

        But he was almost 40! Playing among athletes in their prime?! 98% of all human live in this planet (at their prime) could not even make 20 poinst on any NBA team, so for dropping 50, you gotta have a great talent (and work ethic)t my friend, that’s the point and why MJ23 is the GOAT.

  71. Mingo says:

    My team isn’t in the playoffs, so I say this from a completely unbiased standpoint. That game last night was one of the most poorly officiated games I have ever seen in my life, and I have been a huge fan of the game for over 20 years. Joey Crawford, and the other minions on the court sucking on their whistles were babying dirk more that his own mother did when he was an infant. I would have to say that at least half of the calls that he got were unwarranted and ridiculously petty. All those petty, tic tack fouls that dirk was getting, weren’t getting called on the other end. And how about the dirk foul on durant, that was almost the same foul bynum put on JJ, JJ just landed harder, and not even a flagrant 1??? The game was completely officiated with the intent to baby dirk and the mavs, and let the thunder get hammered with no calls.

    • wootsiWoots says:

      Thunders gets much more CALLS than the mavs… so your argument is stupid.. not just invalid.

    • Bill says:

      Joel Crawford is known for this kind of call. He always favor Shaq, Dirt ….Who’s know what he get!!!!! If your team get call like that, how can you play??? Completely throw off!!!! Dallas won yesterday game but with no honor…..

      • what?? says:

        oh com’on! a foul is a foul, no matter if you get a call by driving threw the zone, or post up…if this OKC team is not able to defend in the post, they will have a heck of a problem in the next game, because dirk will kill them!what about the fouls against chandler or marion?! the game was even, so please no excuses…

  72. sALBahiZz says:

    Dirk is really awsome, he can take long shots and i guess he’s the first 3 point shootout 7 feet champ. GO MAVS!…

  73. Greg says:

    Yes I agree, this writer, Joe Blow whoever the heck he is has ZERO credibility. I’m sure he is a legend in his own mind, and thinks he is something special because he writes for NBA.com. But his opinion is just that, and he proves his idiocy by compiling this list without Kobe. Lets see, since he’s been 30, 3 Trips to the finals, 2 finals MVP’s, a All-Star MVP award, Olympic Gold Medal, should I continue??? Get real man, seriously lol…

  74. Greg says:

    Not even the idiots who broadcast games in dallas, nor the die hard dallas fans, not mark cuban would claim that dirk is better than Kobe. Dirk is having a great playoff run, but he is hands down one of the most inconsistent players in the NBA. You see him torch a team like he did last night, then next game he’ll have a game shooting 30% and get 12 points. Kobe is a top 5 player all time, dirk is lucky to be considered top 100 or top 50. He has a history of crumbling in the playoffs and choking when it counts. We’ll see what he does as this series progresses and the playoffs advance. But to try to compare him to Kobe is like trying to compare him to MJ or him to Wilt, or to Bill Russell or Shaq or Magic etc…

    • LakersWillWin says:

      Dude Dirk has been consistent all playoff long so far. He can’t be compared to Kobe but Dirk is insane

  75. BBALL ADDICT says:

    Com’on now. we REALLY have to look at the BIG picture here.
    MJ accomplished ALL of those things, to include being in his 30s + at 6 foot 6, when the game was brutal via defense. Yes, he got a lot of calls his way later in his career but earned them. The man retires 2x, Comes back and be the leading scorer of a team (Wiz) at age 39 into 40, hitting a 50 point game. Again, besides Steve Nash (whom has no rings), look at ALL of what THE GREATEST did at his height and weight, even buy changing his game to extend his health. There were not a ton of huge guys back in Russell’s day like in the 80’s, 90’s and today. MJ- NO ?UESTION !!!

  76. Shaun says:

    When u fail to place Kobe Bryant in this poll the writer loses all creditability and is clearly biased, there’s no way he can explain leaving him off beside dislike he should be on this list before Karl Malone before steve Nash KG or The Dream and Dirk not saying any of these don’t or didn’t perform at a MVP level it just amazing that he left out the one player with more credentials that the aforementioned…already has two titles and finals mvps in his 30’s and the list goes on! This writer is ridiculous …

    • B says:

      Kobe was left off because he got swept by Dirk…At least KG helped his team to not get swept.

    • Adam La-pOU says:

      Let me repeat. Kobe has NOT been playing well in his 30’s despite the two championships. In the 2010 Finals, he was 40.5% from the field for the 7 games. The guy is seriously overrated AND only won the finals MVP on rep. As for 2009, he was 43% from the field vs Orlando in the finals. And we all know how pedestrian he was in the 2nd round vs Dallas this year. He missed the final shot to lose game 1, and he had a pathetic game 4 — pretty-much the whole team did, but he IS supposedly the leader.
      People who think Kobe is great should really look at the adtual stats. They might be surprised at how ordinary they are. He takes a lot of shots and makes a low percentage of them. For most of his career, he’s had great players surrounding him, and usually winning it for him.

  77. Daniel G. says:

    fools… you guys are haters. dirks cold and everyone knows it

  78. LA for ever says:

    Really doesn’t Kobe’s 2010 and 2009 preformances doesn’t count he was also 30 and 31 years old so… he should be in that list. I mean Dirk sweeps Kobe and than has 1 monster game and everybody already forgets about Kobe and says that Dirk is the only great player of this generation… even KG is mentioned although he is also out of the PO (full respect to Dirk and Kevin) but isn’t that just plain Kobe-hatting?

    • uoykcuf says:

      Nope, not hatting. kobe fanboy.

    • Adam La-pOU says:

      Kobe’s 2010 performance? Youve got to be kidding me!? He was 40.5% from the field for the 7 games. The guy is seriously overrated AND only won the finals MVP on rep. As for 2009, he was 43% from the field vs Orlando in the finals.
      People who think Kobe is great should really look at the adtual stats. They might be surprised at how pedestrian they are. He takes a lot of shots and makes a low percentage of them.

  79. sean says:

    lmao this has nothing to do with this article but i just looked at the draft order
    the lakers have NO first round pick
    and then 4 garbage second round picks
    my god they are gunna get nothing and they are an aging team haha pretty funny

  80. aWtZ says:

    Oh men there will be only one The Greatest of all Time MJ23

    • B says:

      MJ is definately the greatest of all time. Kobe was in comparison but he is no longer the greatest player in the league. Labron made the DECISION to not be considered the greatest by teaming up with 2 other all stars and then whining when they do not win.

  81. D-mavs says:

    Gotta admit Dirk’s gotta keep going 4 a while now to keep it up with those big dogs.
    I’m still thinking if we win the title this – not a long shot now, we have easily the potential to grap it next year now we know what it takes to touch it.
    MJ still easily gets my vote though- i think he put KG and Dirk in there as modern day era guys in the poll.

  82. RJ says:

    MJ no doubt, he did average 30.1 in 96, 29,8 in 97 and 28-something in 98.
    Then he came back and averaged 22,6 and 20-something ;)
    at the age of 33,34,35, 39,40
    for a guy that old, thats pretty impressive

  83. mahkkz says:

    how about MR. Ray Allen? best shaped player @ age 35 xD
    keeps adding the record of all time three pouints made

    • Think About it Please says:

      MJ was in better shape than Allen is when he was 35, the old man was dunking on EVERYBODY.

  84. Chasedwon says:

    And that was all down with only taking 15 shots – incredible performance by our german hero dirk :) hope they can sweep the thunder now to advance to the finals. dirk deserves his ring – not just because of last night.

  85. GinSonic says:

    The poll is meaningless. I mean who would really vote “against” one of those guys? Remember, why’d you rank a player in this category while he’s still performing? Apparently the outcome is not that hard to predict, even I voted for MJ23. And it dont matter. Just shows how great of a player Dirk is and thats the pivotal point of this article. Job’s not done, way to go for the ring and I’m all the way down with Dallas baby. Stay humble and hungry. Hats off, Dirk. U made me really proud.

  86. NBA MASTER says:

    MJ still the best, maybe Dirk best PF shooter but not in all position., Reggie, Ray-ray are still the best shooter in the NBA.

  87. Tom says:

    With all do respect to Dirk you cannot guard him period. and i did miss the 1st half of the game but i watched the 3rd quarter and about 4 minutes into the 4th. Normally I don’t EVER say that a game was reffed in favor of a team or even a player they’re usually pretty fair i mean no game is going to be perfect and i argue with people who are mad their team lost and say it was because of the refs. But honestly the fouls they were calling were i mean i guess “Technically” fouls which is fine, if they were calling the same fouls on the mavericks on the other end of the court, but they weren’t. And the end of the 3rd quarter maybe the last 4-5 minutes really started to get ridiculous with the calls. And then they showed highlights of Dirk in between quarters to show how GREAT dirk was playing, and the highlights i saw i thought they were pretty outrageous fouls to call. But like i said i didn’t see the whole game i only saw a little less then a quarter and a half plus some highlights. i was just wondering if anyone who actually saw the whole game could give me an honest opinion of dirks performance. I don’t mean to try and tarnish his outstanding performance but i really am wondering if it was enhanced because of the officiating. I just want an honest opinion not what the media is saying.

    • DeeWig says:

      Tom
      I watched the entire game and Dirk was truly amazing. He scored Dallas’ first 10 points of the game…no free throws…had a nice dunk and of course the wet jumpers. Also, although Dirk shot a lotta free throws and the refs were garbage, Thunder still shot more free throws than the mavs team…so in my opinion, if anyone can complain about the officiating its mavs fans.

    • sean says:

      i think that he did have a great performance but it seems like the home teams always get the majority of calls, which is very understandable you want the fans to come and the fans want to see their team win so it only makes sense to call it that way
      i think dirk had a great performance but you are probably right if the refs were more leniant he probably wouldve had more around 35-40 points because he was getting a lot of calls but he was stilling put on a great shooting display and hitting some sick shots

    • Link-Boricu says:

      Enhanced because of officiating??

      Are you serious? Check the scorecard.

      Dallas had around 36 free throw attempts. Oklahoma City had around 43 free throw attempts. Don’t undermine Nowitzki’s shot-making ability or clutch in last night’s game, because they called more fouls against Dallas.

      Though I agree to an extent. I’d rather the refs not call every little physical touch as a foul. LET THEM PLAY!

      • sean says:

        im a mavs and dirk fan but im jus saying if you watch NBA games you know they usually call it the home teams way and give the star players calls over the unknown or less popular players dirk had a great performance but they couldve not called some of those fouls
        they had 43 free throws for OKC but how spread out was that?
        dallas only had 36 and dirk had 24
        so dirk had 66.6% of the calls for dallas
        thats what you call getting “star calls”
        its completely understandable you gotta protect the best players in the league everyone wants to watch them play!

    • Nada says:

      I saw the entire game too and as soon as somebody touch Dirk they are whistled. KD as WB got foul on the other end but mostly they drove to basket and got the obvious foul….Playoff games are normally more physical but those call are rediculous!

      • uoykcuf says:

        yes, it was REDICULOUS.

      • LakersWillWin says:

        It was ridirkulous . Dirk is great and all but the officiating imo was awful. But hey I’m not an NBA ref what do I know.

      • sean says:

        man i agree with u guys completely i think just overall the officiating this play offs has been rather brutal

  88. bballhooray says:

    c’mon guys…give me a break…there was no other…there is no other and there won’t be another MJ …amen!

  89. MJ4Ever says:

    Also let me just say that i have nothing against any of the other players in this poll, all are great. Dirk and KG are two people that i respect alot

  90. MJ4Ever says:

    Is this even a question to debate? Are you really going to go against the greatest of all time? this poll made me laugh

  91. Henrique Ramos says:

    Well, from what you put down here, it looks like KAJabbar gathers the most trophies after 30. 5 titles after 30 deserves to be considered. MJordan is unique, ok, the best ever, but he only got 3 titles, 2 below Jabbar. If he kept going maybe he would add a couple more, but he didn’t. So, if you only take a look at numbers, I think Jabbar wins it!

  92. Chris says:

    I don’t want to hear about Dirk until he wins a title. I’m a Dirk fan though. If he played D he would be considered an all time great. Seriously though, if you get 24 free throw attempts, you SHOULD score a bunch of points. MJ by a long shot.

    • EveryoneknowsitIsayit says:

      well then if you get 20+ free throws and 46 shots 81 points by kobe bryant is really not all that impressive give all the other stars 46 shots and over 20 free throws and see how much points they get
      you wont because NONE of them are selfish enough to do that

  93. Elvz says:

    MJ no doubt

  94. LAKERS 2011 - 3PEAT says:

    Kareem seems the better OVER 30 player from what accomplishments he had, why everybody pick Jordan?

    5 of 6 titles after 30…Finals MVP at 38…MVP at 30 and 33…thats MADDDD IMPRESSIVE, not to say he is better than Jordan, but a Finals MVP at 38??? Thats crazy!

    • sean says:

      its gotta be between those two for sure!

      • gangstarr says:

        You have a valid point about Jabbar, but MJ dominated offensively and defensively. 5 time finals MVP (in his 30’s). The fact that he was out for two seasons and in those two seasons Olajuwon, Ewing, Barkleys, Malone, Reggie etc were given a chance to grab some marbles makes us even wonder what MJ and the Bulls could have done if he didnt retire. 50 game season of 99 also would have been ideal for them to win another chip. I know it is hypothetical scenario but just showing how dominant this guy was in his 30’s compared to other greats in their 30’s Jabbar included.

    • jirohkanzaki says:

      Kareem MIGHT be better than MJ at 38 (he was playing with Magic while MJ was with the pathetic Wizards) but MJ was 5x better than Kareem age 30-35…

    • LAKERS SUCK says:

      HAHA, NICE NAME, DIDN’T THEY LOSE!

  95. Derp No Wits See says:

    Dirk is jsut tall an overrated th refs favoured him an now everyone s on his D he shouldn t even get a mention -he s already blown out 4 playoff unrs before and a final i mean come on how many more former al stars do you want on one team they re so stacked he s 7 ft shooter an has no defense he should ve stuck to handball

    • sean says:

      just cause your tall doesnt mean you can shoot the ball look at shaq i just think we got a hater over here

    • Hes got game says:

      Dirk did have 4 blocked shots, I mean hes not the all the greatest at Defense but he doesnt take a seat when its time to play defense

    • Michael says:

      Check the stats: The Mavs went to the line 36 times and the Thunder went 43 times. Are you sure that the refs were penalizing the Mavs more?

      • LAKERS SUCK says:

        I agree with Michael 100%

      • Rush says:

        The Thunder were agressive going to the rim, they’re an athletic team that’s how they got to the line majority of the time. While Dirk posted up on the elbows of the free throw line and posted up smaller defenders and they called unnecissary fouls. He had a great shooting night but if you can’t be agressive as a defender (which was allowed in the Memphis series) then you have no shot at guarding an offense agressive, skilled, perimeter oriented seven footer like Dirk Nowitzki.

  96. TOOMUCHSTUPIDITY says:

    MJ for the win, and that’s the end of the story.

  97. Jake says:

    John Stockton was pretty productive past 30 as well. It seems like he and Karl played on the Jazz for eons together.

  98. HeatWave says:

    That was a good performance but I really didn’t like how the refs called every little ticky tack foul when someone was guarding him. The two fouls Durant picked up were just ridiculous. Still no credit taken away from Dirk because he is a good shooter and would have had a great game regardless.

    • LAKERS SUCK says:

      You rock!

    • Tom says:

      aha i posted a comment too that’s what i thought. i didn’t see the whole game though but if what i saw was any indication of how the entire game was reffed, dirks performance i mean the guy did hit 24 of 24 free throws but he should’ve only really gone to the line maybe 3-4 times. From what i saw anyway.

      • B says:

        That is why you could never be a ref. only 3-4 times? seriously?

      • tata says:

        When I saw the way the refs were calling it I turned the game off. Darth Stern has a predetermined agenda. He is probably letting Cuban go to the Finals in exchange for some other dirty back room deed he needs help with..aka New Orleans.

    • Rush says:

      I’m glad that someone was watching the same game that I was. To many ticky-tacky fouls. What happened to playoff defense?

  99. Aleksandar Mishkov says:

    I don’t see how this can be argued ? :D :) :P MJ basicly was more deadly in his 30s. And he came back in washington and every 2.5-3rd game he was the leading scorer in the game, at late 30s? Malone was also a beast. I haven’t seen jabar/russel, but the way mj/malone transformed their game to suit their body, and keep themself in shape is remarkable. You have to take into consideration, they were playing 100% on both offense/defense. Dirk is a great scorer, one of the top10 all time, but if he had to put half the effort of mj/malone on the defensive end, he wouldn’t have strength to hit every shot. Tired legs = missed shots.

    • LAKERS SUCK says:

      GREAT COMMENT!

    • Lakersince76 says:

      You really need to check out Kareems career/stats. Most people cant believe their eyes once they see it. It may make you say MJ who? LOL

      • Jordzenegger says:

        Um, okay…shall we go with career playoff points per game? MJ @ 33.4ppg. Kareem @ 24.3ppg.

        Yeah, good point…”MJ who?”

    • Frank says:

      Good point. That is why Dirk is only a scorer and deffeence wins championship. As good as he looked last night he can get ridicule by the Thunders

  100. Mike says:

    Why no Kobe?

    • Bullsfan1136 says:

      Did you read the article? MVPs in their 30s.

      • Shaun says:

        The article does not say that…Actually it’s about performing @ a MVP level in your 30’s…Dirk was the league MVP in his late 20’s he won his MVP right before Kobe won his D.Rose L.James L.James K.Bryant D.Nowitzki…and to completely ignore Kobe off the list above is biased journalism at it’s finest.

      • UrbanTwisticle says:

        Bill Russell has zero MVP’s in his 30’s but is the most eligible candidate on that list (5 rings).

        Keep in mind though that Powell is a Suns fan and dislikes Kobe.

      • Nash-All-The-Way says:

        Man you Kobe fans are too much…you want Kobe everywhere but obviously when he’s excluded from an article you all start complaining. Kobe isnt included in the article because unlike the afrementioned players, HE ISNT GETTING BETTER AS HE AGES. All these guys became dominant as they aged while Kobe is consistently dominant. Everyone wrote these guys off at their old age (or aging careers) but they all ended up proving people wrong with their smart, healthy, and skillfull styles of play. Steve Nash started his first 5 years in Dallas playing behind Jason Kidd but in the end Nash became a more dominant individual player in his 30s than Kidd. Kobe was a really good player already when he started and continues to be (he didnt improve to the same extent as the other did because he already was good). We’ll just see if he will improve and continue on being a great player when he’s 37, 38, or even 39 like osme of these guys are.

      • UrbanTwisticle says:

        @ Nash-All-The-Way. I never said I was a Kobe fan. This article is not about players that nessisarily did better in there 30’s then in there 20’s but players that sustained a high level of play at a later age. Nash is the ONLY player on that list that played better after 30 than before 30.

      • Nash-All-The-Way says:

        I just think its way too early in Kobe’s career to start including him in the “sustaining-high-levels-of-play-at-age-30″ talk because he is still younger than these guys and he still has at least 6 or 7 (or maybe even more) years left in his career. I’m not bashing on Kobe as a great player because he is…but in terms of including him in an article featuring dominant players in their 30s it still is too early in his career to really see if he is all that dominant (in relative to what these guys have accomplished in their 30s

      • Heat ALL Day says:

        @Nash-All-The-Way

        HUH? Kobe 6 or 7 more years? Yea in a wheelchair maybe. You are CRAZY if you think Kobes wheels are good for that much longer. At least nowhere near All-Star performance thats for sure. His legs are aged to about 37 years right now because of his total overall minutes, games played, all of that. He’s 33 in birthday years, but his body is much older than that. Kobe maybe has 2 more All-Star years left at most, and even then the last one could be a “lifetime achievement award” most likely. Just like this year, Kobe had NO place bein on the All-NBA First Team and Defensive Team. PLEASE. Wade had a MUCH better year than him, and OUTPLAYED him in BOTH games head to head.

        Kobe is still a good player, alot better than average. But he’s barely hanging on to his All-Star status. He can say all he wants, but Kobe cannot defeat Father Time.

      • Nash-All-The-Way says:

        @HeatALLDay
        Thank you for making my point to UrbanTwisticle…everything you just said was what I was trying to say to UrbanTwisticle. What i was refuting in my second reply (the one you just replied to) was that Kobe shouldn’t be included because unlike the said players in the article he hasnt really shown his greatness in his 30s over his greatness in his 20s and even in his teens. I still think he’ll play at least 5 more years (or even stretching to 6 and 7) but like you said those years will be like Shaq’s dwindling years drifting from one team to another.

        This is the main difference with Kobe and the rest of these guys…maintaining a healthy lifestyle and adapting your game to the demands of your age and body. Kobe has done this to an extent (not going in for hard dunks and settling for a more post-up style of play) but not to the extent that Dirk, Nash, Kareem, Jordan, Malone, and even Stockton have.

    • sean says:

      LOL because dirk swept kobe and dirk is a better player hands down

      • Shaun says:

        Dude please, ur delusional!

      • Rush says:

        Please tell me how many championships that Dirk have after thirty and when you get your answer, compare it to how many Finals MVP’s that Kobe has after he hit thirty! Please calm down with the Dirk & Kobe comparisons because the post season isn’t even over. Besides Dirk, Karl Malone is the only one on that list without a ring, only because he lost to the greatest of all-time twice. Malone dominated at his position in both of those finals so you gotta give him the benefit of the doubt. But everybody needs to stop comparing Dirk to those guys until he wins a title.

      • robbay2 says:

        Rush, you make me sick.

        So Sasah Vujavic with 2 rings is better than Dirk.

        GTFO.

      • EveryoneknowsitIsayit says:

        yea because kobe got all the players he needed to help him win and dirk didnt u idiots u know it u just are in love with kobe bryant

    • Bullsfan4life says:

      KObe sucks. he think he is better than MJ no one is!

  101. The Unknown Sports says:

    Dirk totally made a name for himself yesterday…i think it brings back the question of Rose vs Dirk as playoff MVP…this guy does a good job discussing it: http://25twofour.com/2011/05/18/dirk-nowitzki-how-good-was-may-17ths-peformance/

    • nba says:

      @ nash all the way- dude nash and kidd never played in dallas together, only for two years in phoenix and kidd wasnt even the starting point guard for at least one of them. Plus nash didnt get good till he went back to phoenix. I still think he is a good player and i am not defending kobe, mainly cause he is kind of a douche. But just letting u know