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.”
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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.
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 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]