Dirk Nowitzki Makes Sixth Place On NBA All-Time Scoring List, Beats Shaquille O’Neal

Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki is proving what an incredible basketball player he is. He managed to pass Shaquille O’Neal for sixth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, during Wednesday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.

“He’s probably the most dominant big man to ever play this game, so it’s kind of surreal that I’m up there amongst these all-time greats,” Nowitzki said earlier in the week. “For a kid leaving Germany originally over 18 years ago, we didn’t know what to expect. It’s been an amazing ride.”

O’Neal was able to finish his career with 28,596 points. Dirk Nowitzki only needed 10 points to pass the former Boston Celtics center, and was able to do so by successfully hitting a midrange jumper over Andrea Bargnani. There was only a little under 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter of the game.

The person on the list he has to beat is Wilt Chamberlain who has 31,419 points. It’s possible that Nowitzki may end up retiring before he ever reached that milestone. Dirk Nowitzki passed Moses Malone for seventh place last season.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is at the top of the list with 38,387 points.

Dirk Nowitzki Makes Sixth Place On NBA All-Time Scoring List, Beats Shaquille O'Neal Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks takes a shot against Anthony Tolliver #43 of the Detroit Pistons at American Airlines Center on January 7, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. [Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]In 2013, Michael Jordan said Nowitzki was only one of four current players who could be nearly as successful as him in his era of basketball. The other three being Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Nowitzki is the 17th player in NBA history, as well as the first European (German), to hit the 25,000-point milestone.

Former basketball player Holger Geschwindner, Nowitzki’s personal mentor and coach, discovered him and helped shape him into the All-Star that he is today.

“It was clear to me from the start that Dirk, at a height of 2.13 meters (7 feet), wasn’t going to become a long-distance runner, weightlifter or a gymnast. He had to take advantage of his physical advantages, and basketball seemed to be the right fit. But physical attributes alone don’t make for a good basketball player. Basketball is an offensive game. That’s why we focused specifically on shooting technique. As a result, he became one of the first players taller than 2.10 meters to sink more than 50 percent of his shots, at least 40 percent of his three-pointers and more than 90 percent of his free throws over the course of an entire season.”

Dirk Nowitzki Makes Sixth Place On NBA All-Time Scoring List, Beats Shaquille O'Neal (L-R) Dirk Nowitzki and Holger Geschwindner attends the premiere of the film ‘Nowitzki. Der Perfekte Wurf’ at Cinedom on September 16, 2014 in Cologne, Germany. [Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images]“I would often call Holger and ask him for his advice,” Dirk says. “Sometimes I was on the verge of giving up. But just as he preached right from the start that sports can’t be everything in life, he also taught me to make my own decisions and stand behind them. In a situation like that, it’s very helpful to be able to trust someone with lots of experience. It’s almost impossible to figure it all out for yourself.”

Dirk Nowitzki is also the all-time leader in points, rebounds, field goals, and field goal attempts, 3-pointers and 3-point attempts, free throws and free-throw attempts, for the Dallas Mavericks. The team is very lucky to have him, ever since he re-signed with the team in the summer of 2014, being given a three-year, $25 million contract.

Nowitzki has made it to the NBA All-Star games a total of 13 times and has made the All-NBA Teams 12 times. Nowitzki is eighth on the combined NBA-ABA list, behind Julius Erving who is placed at sixth and Moses Malone placed at seventh.

[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]