All-Time Rank: Dirk Nowitzki vs. Charles Barkley

Mar 14, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) shoots the ball over Charlotte Hornets forward Frank Kaminsky (44) in the second half at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Mavericks won 107-96. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) shoots the ball over Charlotte Hornets forward Frank Kaminsky (44) in the second half at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Mavericks won 107-96. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /

As we sift our way through the best power forwards in the history of the NBA and how they stack up against the Big German, we compare today with the Round Mound of Rebound.

Dirk Nowitzki has spent 18 years in the league with the Dallas Mavericks and has gone from holding the title of “soft European” to NBA Champion in that span. In that time, he has made his name known not only around the league, but around the world, too.

There is no doubt at all that Dirk is a future Hall of Fame inductee and NBA legend before long. As the number 6 all-time scorer in NBA history with 29,491 points, Nowitzki is a machine still at 38.

On the other side of the ball we have Sir Charles Barkley. Barkley is known as one of the better power forwards in league history due to his high level of play during his 16-year career. He is also one of the best NBA announcers in the league if you ask me.

Barkley was best known for his ability to rebound the ball despite being very undersized for his position. At 6’6”, Chuck led the league in rebounds in 1987. That is just one of his many accomplishments.

With that being said, who takes the matchup between German-native, Dirk Nowitzki, and the Round Mound of Rebound, Charles Barkley?

*Stats from

The Case for Barkley

Charles Barkley is one of the more outspoken players in league history. He is also one of few that could play well enough to back up his image. The nicknames of Sir Charles and the Round Mound of Rebound were both funny and fitting.

Barkley is a lot like Karl Malone in many ways. One of the best in the league during his career and a feared opponent anytime he was on the court. But, he is overlooked now because of the lack of a championship ring.

In the league as it stands right now, the best players in history have an NBA title on their resume. For whatever reason, players like John Stockton, Malone, and Barkley cannot be considered the best players at their position because the best player could never go through an entire career without getting a ring.

Despite that fact, Chuck is still considered a top 5 power forward in league history. A lot of that can be contributed to his per game stats as well. In Barkley’s career, he averaged 22.1 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.8 blocks per game.

Barkley was not the best defender by any means, but he made up for it with his tenacity and ability to grab rebounds like no one else could at his size. That along with his scoring ability makes him a tough player to pick against in any matchup.

The Case for Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki is undoubtedly the best European player to ever come to the NBA. He has proven that time and time again with his unstoppable fadeaway and his clutch play in the big moments. But what really puts Dirk in the argument for best power forward to ever play the game?

One could make the argument that he is on this list because of his MVP, Finals MVP, and championship ring. Those are all great accomplishments and well-deserved for the Big German. But, they far from represent him as a player.

It could be the fact that he is number six on the all-time scoring list. He is only behind the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and Shaquille O’Neal. That is pretty good company to be in and he has earned every point that he has gotten throughout his career.

Some might say that he is the best simply because he is unstoppable. A 7’0” player shooting a fall-away fader from the apex of his release is going to be difficult to stop. Add in the fact that he can shoot the three ball, drive to the hoop, and really hit from anywhere on the court and you have a dangerous player.

Another argument would undoubtedly be that he played most of his years as the solo All-Star on the Mavericks roster. At times he had other talent like Steve Nash, Michael Finley, Shawn Marion, and Jason Kidd, but for the most part, he carried the load on his own shoulders.

One of the arguments that really is hard to dispute though is Dirk Nowitzki’s longevity. Dirk has not only been a quality starter for nearly his entire career, but still played at a near All-star level in his 18th season in the league.

If you can average 18.3 points per game at 37 years old, you are one of the best basketball players in the world, plain and simple. Add that to the fact that after his rookie year he has averaged at least 17.3 points per game and you have a cornerstone for a franchise that never seems to falter.

Next: All-Time Rank: Dirk Nowitzki vs. Karl Malone

No matter who you pick between Charles Barkley and Dirk Nowitzki, it is impossible to argue the fact that both are a few of the best power forwards to ever play the game. Although Barkley has the edge in some of the major stat totals, Dirk is way ahead in total points.

That may be because Dirk was expected to score the ball every night without much attention given to the rest of his game, but the matchup between the two is still close. Who is your pick? The great Sir Charles? Or the Ghost-Face Drillah?