Fitting In

6 08 2011
IMG_9058 "Dirk Nowitzki"

Dirk Nowitzki

During this year’s championship run, Rick Carlisle famously stated that Dirk is “a top 10 player in NBA history.” Immediately, analysts and commentators began to scoff at this notion. It will be a while until Dirk’s placement in NBA history is set in stone, but I’d like to take a look at some statistics. Here is the current list of the top 25 career scoring leaders:

1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38,387
2 Karl Malone 36,928
3 Michael Jordan 32,292
4 Wilt Chamberlain 31,419
5 Shaquille O’Neal 28,596
6 Kobe Bryant 27,868
7 Moses Malone 27,409
8 Elvin Hayes 27,313
9 Hakeem Olajuwon 26,946
10 Oscar Robertson 26,710
11 Dominique Wilkins 26,668
12 John Havlicek 26,395
13 Alex English 25,613
14 Reggie Miller 25,279
15 Jerry West 25,192
16 Patrick Ewing 24,815
17 Allen Iverson 24,368
18 Charles Barkley 23,757
19 Robert Parish 23,334
20 Kevin Garnett 23,323
21 Adrian Dantley 23,177
22 Elgin Baylor 23,149
23 Dirk Nowitzki 22,792
24 Ray Allen 22,286
25 Clyde Drexler 22,195
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You’ll notice Dirk at 23, right above Ray Allen. Now, over the past 5 years, Dirk has averaged 2,160 points per season (including playoffs). I believe that Dirk has at least two more solid, dominant seasons in him. So, if you project his average over the next season, he would have 24,952 points, which would place him around 16. Applying his average again to the next season puts him at about 9th with 27,112 points. Of course, these numbers will only pan out if the Mavs stay playoff contenders and Dirk remains healthy.

There is more to basketball than simply points, but if Dirk ends up in this category’s top 10 among such elite players, it would be difficult to deny the big German’s greatness and his placement among the all-time greats.

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2 responses

25 08 2011
Sommer Yobst

You made some nice points there. I did a search on the subject matter and found most individuals will consent with your site.

8 08 2011
jaysjems1141

Good point. Also, Ray will not be an active player for much longer!

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