Dallas Mavericks: What Does Dirk Need to Do to Pass Wilt?
By Kohl Rast
When Dirk Nowitzki passed the 30,000 point mark last season, everyone thought he had hit his final milestone. However, the Dallas Mavericks long time forward may still have one more mile marker on his road to the Hall of Fame.
Aside from being number 6 on the all time scoring list, Dirk Nowitzki has some other pretty amazing accomplishments in his career. He has a championship ring, a Finals MVP award, and NBA MVP award, and is among a very select group of players who has played an entire 20 seasons with one franchise.
Looking at Dirk’s stats, however, you can see that he is among the All-time league leaders in many different categories. Dirk’s current rankings in various stats include: 6th on all-time scoring list, 6th in career games played, 6th in career minutes played, 8th in career field goals made, 20th in 2-point field goals made, 11th in 3-point field goals made, 6th in career defensive rebounds, 28th in total rebounds, 53rd in career blocks, and 16th in career free throw percentage.
If you are like me, then you want to know exactly what Dirk needs to do to move up on all of these lists. Well look no further, because here is everything you need to know.
For Dirk to pass Wilt Chamberlain on the NBA All-time Scoring List, he needs to score a total of 724 points before he calls it a career. Dirk is currently sitting at 30, 695 while Wilt is at 31,419. To score those 724 points in the remaining 46 games of the season, Dirk would need to score an average of 15.8 points per game. He is currently averaging 12.1 so far this season.
Although this seems fairly insignificant for the most part, it would be really something amazing if Dirk Nowitzki was a top 5 scorer in NBA history for a time. There is no doubt that LeBron would pass him in no time, but the fact would still be there. Dirk has been underrated his entire career and that would really put him in the conversation with the most elite scorers of all time.
Another stat that Dirk can move up in would be career games played. Dirk is 32 games away from Kevin Garnett and 46 from Karl Malone. If he plays the entire season, Nowitzki could be tied for 4th in career games played, which is no small feat for a guy with Dirk’s height and build.
Next would be career minutes, as Dirk would need only 411 minutes to pass Elvin Hayes and 522 minutes from Jason Kidd. Dirk is currently averaging 25.4 minutes per game and would need to average 9 minutes per game to pass Hayes and 11.4 minutes to pass Kidd. If he can keep his average over 18 minutes a game for the rest of the season, Dirk could also overtake Kevin Garnett for third overall.
For Dirk to move into 7th overall in all-time made field goals, he would need to make less than 3 shots per night in order to pass Elvin Hayes. He only needs 4 more 2-point field goals to pass Jerry West for 19th overall, while his chances of moving up in made 3-point field goals is very slim. Dirk would need to pull down an average of 1.7 defensive rebounds per night to pass Hakeem Olajuwon for 5th overall, while he would need an average of 3.6 total rebounds per night to pass Dolph Schayes for 27th overall.
For blocked shots, Dirk would need 34 in the rest of the season to move forward to 52nd, or he can just get 7 more blocks than DeAndre Jordan over the next few games. Needless to say, Dirk will be moving up on many lists and making his case even more obvious for a first ballot Hall of Fame career.
It would be really amazing to see Dirk Nowitzki sneak into the top 5 all-time scoring list, but even if he doesn’t, no one can take away what he has done on the court. Despite what Kareem Abdul-Jabbar thinks, it is very clear that Dirk does a whole lot more than just shoot. It’s time for Kareem to get a prescription in those sports goggles.
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Dirk may or may not be hanging it up this summer, but if he decides to leave, his legacy will live on as one of the best to ever step on the court and certainly one of the best to ever step off of it. Dirk will always be the chosen one of Dallas, will always be a fan favorite, and will always be a Mavericks…no matter where he ends up in the rankings.