Dallas Mavericks: An update on Dirk’s quest to pass Wilt Chamberlain
By Kohl Rast
At the beginning of the year, the big question was whether or not Dirk Nowitzki would beat LeBron James to the top 5 on the all-time scoring list. That didn’t happen, but he can still pass Wilt Chamberlain into the top 6.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain and Dirk Nowitzki. These are the seven players who have eclipsed 30,000 points in the NBA and 31,000 in professional basketball. Dallas Mavericks own, Dirk Nowitzki is the seventh name on the list currently, but that could be changing soon.
The first five players on the list won’t be caught by Dirk. LeBron is creating plenty of distance each game and Jordan is currently 1,100 points ahead of Dirk, which would mean he’d have to turn the clock back to 2011-12 in order to score those 1,100 by the end of the season. I see that as an unlikely outcome.
So that means that Dirk only needs to focus on passing Wilt during this season. Wilt Chamberlain is currently 227 points ahead of Dirk for 6th on the NBA’s All-Time scoring list. It would take Dirk averaging just over 4 points per game the rest of the season in order to catch Wilt by the end of the year. That would be under the impression he would play every game in that stretch, though, which seems unlikely.
It is also very unlikely that Dirk will only average 4 points per game. I think an expectation of 8-10 points per contest is pretty likely for Dirk, which would put him somewhere between 23-29 games. If you take into account the fact that Nowitzki is unlikely to play the 2nd night of back-to-back games, the timeframe for him to pass Wilt would likely fall in the month of February.
This is maybe the last major accomplishment left for Dirk’s NBA career. That is a sad thing to say, but at 40 years old, Dirk has pretty much accomplished as much as the greatest players in NBA history. He has the title, he has the MVP award, he has the Finals MVP, the Teammate of the Year Award, the three-point contest trophy, and the 30,000 points.
He is arguably the best foreign born NBA player in history and definitely the best European born player of all time. In fact, he is the only foreign born NBA player to win an MVP award without attending college in the states.
There is nothing you can take away from his impressive resume. He is one of the greatest players to ever play the game and he never gets the credit he deserves. Maybe he doesn’t deserve to be in the conversation with LeBron James and Michael Jordan, but he certainly deserves more respect than he gets. That’s just a fact of the matter.
Dirk is within 300 points of becoming one of the 6 highest scoring players in NBA history. No matter what else you think of the guy, these are the facts and they can’t be argued. So let us all celebrate just how incredible this career has been, dating all the way back to a bowl cut, an earring, and an endless passion for basketball.