Blogtable: Where will Dirk finish?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

BLOGTABLE: Thoughts on Cavs’ deal? | Struggling marquee teams | Where will Dirk finish?

VIDEODirk Nowitzki is now the NBA’s No. 7 all-time scorer

> Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki has zoomed up to No. 7 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. With two years left on his contract after this season (and who knows after that?) where do you think Dirk will settle on this list when all’s said and done?

Steve Aschburner, I was in the visitors’ dressing room in Milwaukee last month when Nowitzki sat out a game (second of a back-to-back) he otherwise could have played in. His comment on that night of rest for his weary bones: “I want to play for the Mavericks for a long time, so…” Clearly he has no intention of stepping off the all-time points ladder anytime soon. But if he settles into, say, a 17 ppg scorer and manages his body through 70 games a year, that moves him along at about 1,500 points per season. That gets him past Shaquille O’Neal (28,596) and perhaps Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) but Micheal Jordan (32,292) might be a rung too high.

Fran Blinebury, As long as he stays healthy, I’m thinking Dirk won’t be ready to hang it up in two more years. He’s got Mark Cuban, who’ll keep pushing at the envelope to surround him with a roster that will keep the Mavs in playoff contention. So I’m going high and guessing that he does what would have been unthinkable when he was drafted back in 1998 and passes Michael Jordan, but tucks in behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant at No. 4.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comAnother spot for sure, past Shaquille O’Neal, and probably past Wilt Chamberlain to crash the top five. That’s remarkable real estate even for the staunchest Dirk backers. I wouldn’t count him out of No. 4 and Michael Jordan either. I just don’t think it’s an easy call at that point.

Shaun Powell, NBA.comI say he finishes 5th at best and passes Wilt and Shaq. It’ll help to have Rajon Rondo around to get easier buckets (assuming Rondo sticks around after this season). Of course, we are also assuming Dirk stays healthy, something he has managed to do for much of his career.

John Schuhmann, NBA.comDirk will get past Shaq next season, but unless he misses only a few games, he won’t catch Wilt on this contract. So the question really comes down to whether you think he’ll play another year (at the age of 39) after that. I’ll guess that he does, passes Wilt, and finishes at No. 5, where he’ll eventually be passed by LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

Sekou Smith, NBA.comGiven the way his career started, Dirk working his way into the top five will stand as a truly remarkable feat. I think he slides into the top four before it’s all said and done, not that I put a ton of stock into the top whatever when you get to the single digits on this list. Anyone in the top 40 all-time has done ridiculous work. The top 20 is unbelievable. The top 10 jaw-dropping. And that top five makes you one of the unquestioned greatest scorers in the history of the game, a Hall of Fame shoe-in and a guy in need of a statue outside of an arena somewhere around the league.

Ian Thomsen, If his team is in title contention, he’s healthy and he’s loving the life, then he could extend beyond 2017 because his length and skills would enable him to play for as long he likes. But he will be 39 at that time. Think about all of those hard private workouts that enable him to maintain his current level. We should be appreciating Nowitzki on the likelihood that we’ll never see anyone like him again after 2017, when he’ll probably retire as the No. 6 scorer, just behind Wilt Chamberlain.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blog: This question involves a lot of math and therefore heavily favors Schuhmann. Just wanted to point that out. Dirk is 36 years old and is averaging just over 18 points per game this season. Let’s assume he plays until he’s 40, so four more seasons including this one. Let’s also assume his scoring rate slows by a point each season, so he goes from 18 to 17 to 16 to 15. And let’s also guess there will be games missed due to injury, so let’s just say he averages about 65 games a season for four seasons. By my calculations, that’s: (18 x 65) + (17 x 65) + (16 x 65) + (15 x 65) = 4290

So, if Dirk scores 4,290 more points, he’ll have a total of 31,702 points, which would put him into fifth all-time, behind Michael Jordan and ahead of Wilt Chamberlain. This now concludes my one arithmetic problem for 2015.


  1. Jay852 says:

    Watch Dirk on Punk’d, it was hilarious. Possibly nicest guy in the NBA.

  2. The Future says:

    lol someone said he should retire at age 41…cause of his jersey #

  3. Cs says:

    Hi! I like what Sekou Smith wrote, top10 scoring in a(ny) sports history makes that player a legend.
    I think NBA all-time PLAYOFF scoring list is even more telling.
    MJ 1st, Kareem, Kobe, Shaq, T. Duncan, K. Malone, J. West, Lebron, Bird, J. Havlicek round out the top 10.
    Dirk needs to score 322 more points to be 10th on that list, so he has a good chance to do that in the next 3 years.

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  5. William says:

    More than the points, I’m glad Dirk got his ring, and he earned it the hard way. The guy had the flu and still led his team in points and rebounds, and outplayed a healthy LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. That’s impressive.

  6. Ryan41 says:

    Dirk will forever be my idol. He should be right behind Michael Jordan at no. 5 and he should retire at age 41 to match his number. He is the reason why I’m watching the NBA because of his rare talent.

  7. gedz says:

    Dirk is one of a kind.. top 4 or top 5 is the possible destination.. but whatever place in history Dirk as usual is so down to earth, that’s why i like this guy since start.. One of the best in the work

  8. harriethehawk says:

    Dirk will never retire because Cuban won’t let him go. And I don’t blame him. He’s good to have around and he makes everything much better. Don’t know where he will end up in the standings but I wish him the best.

  9. John Doe says:

    I’m from Germany, I love Dirk and I’m afraid the NBA won’t be the same to me once Dirk retires. For the time being I’m looking forward to watching each Dallas game as a rerun the next day. It’s too late here to watch it live. Go Mavs!

  10. GNAP says:

    5th is about right. Got to Keep MJ near the top. But it’s only right for Dirk to retires at age of 41, he will probably still put up 10/12 points a game

  11. Crispin says:


    I have to totally agree with you – I’m from Munich, and I’ve been following the league for almost 20 years, and nothing makes me prouder to be german than to see what Dirk has accomplished, and even more important: the way he did it.

    I get goose bumps every time people talk about this, and like you I feel like there is only one thing to say: Thank you Dirk!

  12. Joe says:

    Igor, you took the words out of my mouth. I’m just about to turn 30 and grew up watching the Mavs when we were a bottom NBA team. I can remember the season we got Dirk and especially when Cuban took over. The Dallas Mavericks are the Poster child of what good leadership can do to any NBA Organization, for the fans, city and people worldwide.

  13. Igor says:

    No matter what place will Dirk be after call it a time, he will always be remembered as one of the most (if not the only one) humble guy who always plays for the team to win. How much sacrifices he made, for the better of the team and the whole organization? After retirement, there should be a statue of him in Dallas outside of the arena, and another one in Wurzburg, Germany. Dirk is not just a hall of famer and one of the greatest players in the history of the basketball, he is a man, an idol, an inspiration and much much more that words can not describe. I am very happy to witness Dirk’s whole career. He was my childhood idol, and is still my idol. I respect him so much. And my wish is to meet him one day, to hug him and say to him: Thank you for all that you did, you made my life happier.

    • Sam Reyes says:

      AGREE, as Igor said, my life is better because of Dirk, yes we will miss him, but in the top 5 or top 10, he has one of the Top 3 most Dangerous Shots and he is my hero.