Brooklyn Nets guard, Spencer Dinwiddie, took a likely unintentional jab at the greatest Dallas Mavericks player in franchise history in an interview with the New York Post.
For some strange reason, Dallas Mavericks and NBA legend, Dirk Nowitzki, was brought up in an interview between Brooklyn Nets guard, Spencer Dinwiddie, and the New York Post. He was only casually mentioned by Dinwiddie, but what he said can be viewed as a bit of a jab at Dirk and how good of a player he was.
For context, Dinwiddie was asked about comments he had made saying that the Nets were going to be contenders for the title this year, despite likely being without Kevin Durant for most of, if not the entire NBA season. After talking about how good the team could be, Dinwiddie talks specifically about what KD can bring to the team when he is healthy.
The interview between New York Post writer, Brian Lewis, and Dinwiddie was published on Saturday and went through a number of questions and topics, but the important part for us Mavs fans came towards the end.
In reference to Durant coming back from an Achilles tear, Dinwiddie said that “the man is 7-foot and one of the best shooters of all time. At worst you get Dirk [Nowitzki], and Dirk was a monster.”
Again, I want to emphasize that I don’t think this is an intentional slight towards Dirk. Honestly, I’m not sure that any player with half a brain would choose to insult Nowitzki who is widely considered one of the nicest guys the league has seen. Dinwiddie would have absolutely no reason to intentionally disrespect the best foreign born player in NBA history.
Yet, those words are hard not to see as at least a little bit shortsighted. Kevin Durant is coming back from an Achilles tear, which is considered by most to be one of the single most devastating injuries a professional athlete can try to come back from. Add on the fact that Durant is nearly 7-feet tall and that injury becomes even more precarious.
To say that Durant coming back from a major injury is basically guaranteed to be as good as Dirk was is horribly misguided. Dirk is a top 6 scorer in NBA history, the highest scoring foreign born player in league history, an NBA champion and a guy that literally changed the game for millions of people.
I won’t sit here and act like KD can never be better than Dirk. With Durant’s skill set and athleticism together, he has all the tools to be a top 3-5 player in league history. Even before this injury, he was already in the conversation.
The issue doesn’t come from comparing the two players, it comes from comparing a player coming back from injury with Dirk. And the even bigger issue stems from categorizing Dirk as simply a great shooter. He was a fantastic shooter, but he was so much more than that. If Durant has trouble coming back from this injury (something none of us want) he will be nowhere near what Dirk was in his great career.
We won’t hold these words against Dinwiddie going forward, but I would hope he chooses his words a little bit more wisely when talking about a true legend of the game. Dirk is an all-time great and shouldn’t be compared to any player trying to come back from an injury.