Dirk keeps climbing ladder of history

VIDEO: Dirk Nowitzki jumper moves him past Shaq to No. 6 in all-time scoring.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, as they say in the “Star Wars” saga, a skinny young kid in Germany used to turn on his TV to NBA games late at night and watch a hulking monster named Shaquille O’Neal outmuscle and outplay opponents and the entire league to write his name in the record books.
Now more than two decades later, Dirk Nowitzki has used the power of his step-back jumper and assorted other moves like a light saber to move past O’Neal and write his own name into the No. 6 spot on the NBA all-time scoring list.

Nowitzki took a set-up pass from J.J. Barea, turned and nailed one of his trademark high-arcing jumpers with 9:51 left in the second quarter for his 10th point of the night at Brooklyn to climb the next rung on the history ladder. That brought his career total to 28,597.

Nowitzki, who finished with 22 points, got the game-winning layup with 19.2 seconds left in overtime as the Mavericks beat the Nets, 119-118.

O’Neal, who finished his 19-year career in 2011 with 28,596 points, was just nominated for the Naismith Hall of Fame Class of 2016.

“He’s probably arguably the most dominant big man that’s ever played this game,” Nowitzki told Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “So yeah, it’s still kind of surreal that I’m up there among these all-time greats.”

Nowitzki is sure to follow O’Neal’s Hall of Fame path when he eventually retires, but for now is still productively enjoying his 18th NBA season with the Mavericks, taking averages of 17.3 points and 7.0 assists into the game against the Nets.

Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain have scored more points in the history of the league than the 37-year-old forward. Nowitzki and Bryant are also the only players in the top 10 all-time ranking that have played their entire career with one team. He ranks No. 2 among active players, behind Bryant.

Nowitzki has come a long way since entering the league as the ninth pick out of Wurzburg, Germany in the 1998 draft by Milwaukee, going to Dallas in a prearranged deal and then struggling to find his footing in a rough rookie season.

But with a steady, relentless work ethic and a game that expanded the boundaries of what it was thought a 7-footer could do, Nowitzki was named an All-Star 13 times, won the MVP award in 2007 and took Dallas to the NBA Finals twice, leading the Mavs to the only championship in franchise history in 2011.

“It just speaks to how special he is, how special his career has been, the amount of work that he’s put into it, the level of which he really lives the game on a day-to-day basis,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “All of that stuff is just so historic it’s hard to put into words. And I know Shaq is a guy that he really respects, as we all do.”

TOP 10 ALL-TIME NBA SCORERS

1 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38,387
2 — Karl Malone 36,928
3 — Kobe Bryant 32,897
4 — Michael Jordan 32,292
5 — Wilt Chamberlain 31,419
6 — Dirk Nowitzki 29,609
7 — Shaquille O’Neal 28,596
8 — Moses Malone 27,409
9 — Elvin Hayes 27,313
10 — Hakeem Olajuwon 26,946

TOP 10 ACTIVE SCORERS

1 — Kobe Bryant 32,897
2 — Dirk Nowitzki 29,609
3 — Tim Duncan 26,211
4 — Kevin Garnett 26,025
5 — Paul Pierce 26,010
6 — LeBron James 25,572
7 — Vince Carter 23,636
8 — Carmelo Anthony 21,533
9 — Dwyane Wade 19,293
10 — Joe Johnson 18,642

7 Comments

  1. krespino says:

    Ten years from now we may see that either Curry or Kawhi Leonard has won six rings…
    That’s what I hope actually… Team play should prevail.

  2. Joe Johnson is a bum.

  3. Raptor4Life says:

    1) Dirk AND Kobe are BOTH still relevant. And Kobe, much like Michael Jordan, will remain “relevant” long after he retires…. and for many of the same reasons. Yes, their current performance is noticeably different – writer “My opinion” explained it well.

    2) “krespino” writes: “LeBron will end up with higher total points than Kobe.”
    Yes, he certainly should – even if he takes his “talents” somewhere else yet again. Only serious injury (on or off the court) could derail this eventuality. However, Kobe will always have more points on a SINGLE team’s record books. Many people don’t care about this, but I have a greater appreciation of the players who managed to stay loyal to a single franchise through good AND bad for their entire careers (especially guys like John Stockton or Reggie Miller who never managed to get a ring – and Kobe, Dirk, and Tim Duncan who all did).
    Just to stir the pot….
    LeBron will end up with less championships than Kobe, even though he likely takes over the #3 spot on the all-time scoring list. I’m sure Kobe can live with this, knowing that a Laker will remain in #1 spot.

    3) Speaking of Tim Duncan, he is on pace to enter the “top 10” around mid-season NEXT year (2016-17). I can’t wait for this moment, I really admire Duncan as a person as much as a great player. In typical Duncan fashion, he will make no fuss about it and defer to the organization, Pop and staff, and his teammates as being responsible for his success.
    Just another day for TD.
    While we’re stirring that pot…. LeBron will end up with less championships than Tim Duncan.

  4. krespino says:

    LeBron will end up with higher total points than Kobe.

  5. bilalonder says:

    6 — Dirk Nowitzki 29,609
    7 — Shaquille O’Neal 28,596

    more then 1k point in one night
    not bad🙂

  6. My opinion says:

    First on the relevance, Dirk is a 7-footer with great shooting stroke with higher effective field goal % than Kobe. He also never has serious injury in his career (thanks god).
    Kobe was hurt the last three years so the drop off is great.

    Second, leading most missed shot is not a bad thing. It just means Kobe shoots a lot of shots. You have to account that he made a lot also as he is the No. 3 in the list.

  7. Kobe Jelly bean Bryant says:

    Why is Dirk still so relevant at this point of his career and Kobe is so trashed and leading the most missed shots?