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  • 06/03/2011, 02:57AM ET

Dirk Nowitzki vs the Big Ticket

Sabih (102-48-19) vs J-Business (78-66-19)
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A lot of people on this site and media (ESPN) have been talking about is Dirk a top 10 player of all-time? In my opinion he is barely a top 10 player of this era.

For this TD, the focus will be on another PF who played during Dirk's era. Kevin Garnett.

Let's look at the numbers
KG
19.5 PPG
10.7 RPG
4.1 APG
.788 FT%
.498 FG%
1.4 SPG
1.6 BPG

Dirk
23.0 PPG
8.4 RPG
2.7 APG
.9 SPG
1.0 BPG
.476 FG%
.381 3PT%
.877 FT%

I will give Dirk the edge in scoring but KG was no bum on offense. He consistently averaged 20+ PPG and shot a high%. He could distribute the ball and his athleticism and size created problems for a lot of defenders. He could stretch the D with the jumper.

On defense, no contest. KG wins by a landslide DPOY. 9X ALL-Defensive Team. Rebounding champion for 4 straight years.

KG at his prime (I am talking the years he spent in MIN and his first couple years with BOS) was a force on both ends of the court.


Legacy

Both were great players, without a doubt.
Both played in two NBA Finals and it remains to be seen if Dirk will get the ring to match KG

Dirk gets the edge on offense

But it's Dirk's legacy that will make him remembered much more than KG

Dirk Nowitzki is the first NBA superstar who developed his game outside of America. )Olajuwon largely refined his game at U. of Houston)
Dirk learned his entirely in Europe

20 yrs from now, when the NBA has a franchise or two in Europe Dirk will receive a lot of the credit.
When we look at the NBA draft this coming summer and see all of the European players, Dirk's the reason we no longer call them soft or think they can't compete with the big boys.

Dirk became what Sabonis, Kukoc and Divac couldn't do. He became a true NBA superstar

It can not be underestimated how much Dirk has meant to the NBA. In the history of the NBA he may very well go down as one of the 10 most influential players.

Dirk has given hope to an entire new generation of European players

KG was great and so is Dirk

But 10-20 yrs from now, it will be much clearer that Dirk's legacy, his impact on the game was much bigger


Lets compare there performances vs each other

KG

24.03 PPG
12.5 RPG
4.77 APG
53 FG%
77 FT%
1.27 SPG
1.33 BPG

Dirk

22.5 PPG
8.6 RPG
2.13 APG
46 FG%
38 3PT%
89 FT%
0.87 BPG
0.70 SPG

So head-to-head, KG beats him in every category except for 3PT % and FT%.

If you wanna talk about changing the game.

KG became the first player in 20 years to go straight from high school to the NBA.

Look at the stars have went straight from high school to NBA following 95.

Lebron
Kobe
Amar'e
T-Mac
Dwight Howard

Also, Dirk was not the first European star, there was Drazen Petrovic before him who was inducted into the HOF primarily due to his play in Europe. And he, along with Divac, had a big impact and opened doors for other Eastern European players including Dirk.

You seem to be overestimating Dirk's impact.

Dirk's the reason we no longer call them soft or think they can't compete with the big boys.

In what world is Dirk not considered soft. The biggest knock on Dirk is his rebounding and defense. Dirk has never averaged over 10 RPG in a season. And European players are still considered soft.


There's a big difference between Dirk's legacy and KG's

Dirk is by far the greatest internationally bred basketball in NBA history. Petrovic was a decent player with a 15pt a game average.
Comparing Divac is a waste of cap space

Dirk's impact can not be underestimated at all. He's a 7 ft PF, who can put the ball on the floor and shoot from a distance.
He's one of the best players in the game
and he's European.

Dirk is to the NBA what soccer wanted Freddy Adu to be. An across the water phenom who could compete with the best in the world.

KG was good but he's not even the best player to come out of college. In fact, he's not even top 3. That belongs to
Kobe
LeBron
Moses Malone (the real first high school player to come into the NBA)

And possibly by the end of his career, Dwight Howard.

Dirk shed the soft label a few years ago.

There's a reason why Dirk is getting as much press if not more than LeBron.

Dirk is international.

After the end of his career, KG will quietly fade away. A lot of it has to do with his attitude.

On the other hand Dirk will be on the game's biggest ambassador bridging the NBA to one of the world's largest markets.


This TD is not about legacy, its about talent, its about skill, its about talent and its about production. (Something you have not compared)

KG is the better player.

Look @ the head-to-head matchups. Since Dirk came into the league in 1999, the two have played against each other on 39 occasions. KG outscored him, out rebounded him and out played him on the defensive side of the ball.

The great thing about KG is, he doesn't need to score to impact the game. He is one of the greatest defensive players to ever play the game. His combination of size and athleticism allowed him to guard multiple positions.

Its a shame he never was able to get the talent in MIN. Sam Cassell, Sprewell, Brandon, Wally, Marbury aren't exactly guys that will help you beat the juggernaut of the LAL and Spurs of a decade ago. Even C-WEB had a better cast with the Kings than KG.

Dirk has perhaps a greater impact and may have a more memorable legacy, but in terms of basketball talent, KG > Dirk.


It has to be remembered that Dirk took the Mavericks much further than KG ever did with Minnesota.

Both players took weak franchises and raised their profile but Dirk turned the Mavs into a perennial contender.

Let's look at the playoffs:
KG: 57 wins 58 losses

Dirk: 63 wins 60 losses

But get this, 40 of KG's wins came in his 3 seasons with Boston.

With Minnesota KG had a record of:
17 wins 30 losses

In fact KG only made it out of the 1st rd once with Minnesota
In the 2001-02 season they were swept by the Mavs and Nowitzki

Dirk has taken the Mavs to the Finals twice. Twice.
He already has more playoff wins than KG with 3 less seasons

Had KG not been traded to a team with two Hall of Famers he would have most likely been remembered as a stat stuffer who could never make his team a real contender.

And even from the legacy aspect, the player's impact on the game has to be considered. It's the reason why Juluis Erving is more remembered than Bob McAdoo.

After it's all said and done Dirk legacy both on and off the court will be measured as being better than KG.

June 3, 2011  03:33 AM ET

Tempted, but that DPOY carries a lot of weight.

June 3, 2011  03:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Tempted, but that DPOY carries a lot of weight.

So does Dirks MVP.

June 3, 2011  04:11 AM ET

KG is a toothpick compared to Dirk.

Going one-on-one on both sides of the floor, I'd have to give Dirk the advantage.

June 3, 2011  04:18 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

So does Dirks MVP.

So does KG's MVP.

June 3, 2011  04:58 AM ET

I thought about this the other day but concluded that KG has the slight edge because of overall defense. Also, KG's Minnesota teams were decent but not great (similar to Dirk).

June 3, 2011  05:35 AM ET

While Garnett is still a good defensive player, he is nowhere near the level offensively or defensively that he was in Minny. Edge goes to Dirk for longevity, and how many 7 footers can shoot like he can?

June 3, 2011  11:05 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

While Garnett is still a good defensive player, he is nowhere near the level offensively or defensively that he was in Minny. Edge goes to Dirk for longevity, and how many 7 footers can shoot like he can?

I am talking career, not right now. Obviously right now, Dirk is better.

June 3, 2011  11:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

While Garnett is still a good defensive player, he is nowhere near the level offensively or defensively that he was in Minny. Edge goes to Dirk for longevity, and how many 7 footers can shoot like he can?

KG can

Comment #10 has been removed
June 3, 2011  11:19 AM ET

KG got an MVP in Minnesota with very little around him.

Interested to see how J Business attacks this.

June 3, 2011  11:19 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Touche'

Hey Twins...

June 3, 2011  11:41 AM ET

To me they are kinda equal but KG slighty is above Dirk with his ring. Also Dirk is a Better Offensive player but KG overwhlems him when coming to D

June 3, 2011  12:12 PM ET

It's not a popularity contest, it's who is a better basketball player and the answer is KG. KG got it done on both ends of the court. Dirk is a scorer and that's about it.

June 3, 2011  12:56 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

It's not a popularity contest, it's who is a better basketball player and the answer is KG. KG got it done on both ends of the court. Dirk is a scorer and that's about it.

When has KG ever been the go to guy and actually delivered? Yes KG is head and shoulders above Dirk on the defensive end, but Dirk has lead his team to the Finals twice. KG was on the Celtics and anchored the defense but was not the 1st or 2nd option offensively on those teams... When Dirk led dallas to their first finals who was his supporting cast? A rookie PG, an overhyped Josh Howard? Erica Dampier? This year Dirk has led Dallas back to finals with one of the best playoff performances ever.

June 3, 2011  01:12 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

When has KG ever been the go to guy and actually delivered? Yes KG is head and shoulders above Dirk on the defensive end, but Dirk has lead his team to the Finals twice. KG was on the Celtics and anchored the defense but was not the 1st or 2nd option offensively on those teams... When Dirk led dallas to their first finals who was his supporting cast? A rookie PG, an overhyped Josh Howard? Erica Dampier? This year Dirk has led Dallas back to finals with one of the best playoff performances ever.

Wow funny you said that. Who led the Celtics in scoring in the playoffs when they won the title in '08? And who was their second leading scorer during the season? I think it was the same guy who won defensive player of the year that year.

June 3, 2011  01:15 PM ET

Wow. Sabeeh brought it.

June 3, 2011  01:16 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Wow funny you said that. Who led the Celtics in scoring in the playoffs when they won the title in '08? And who was their second leading scorer during the season? I think it was the same guy who won defensive player of the year that year.

KG has never been "clutch." He had a lot of help in Boston.

<KG is great, just playing "Devils Advocate.">

June 3, 2011  01:21 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

KG has never been "clutch." He had a lot of help in Boston.<KG is great, just playing "Devils Advocate.">

Dirk has a ton of help in Dallas.

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