Dirk Nowitzki makes ESPN’s top 20 players of all-time: Should he be higher?

Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki
Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks had multiple former players make the NBA’s 75th-anniversary team with Dirk Nowitzki headlining the list. Dirty is the sixth-highest scorer in NBA history, and the Mavs GOAT. He spent 21 seasons in Dallas and delivered the franchise its lone championship in 2011.

The NBA did not rank the players. They just announced the top 75, which turned into 76 because of a tie, based on media votes. The Athletic did rank them, and Dirk landed outside the top 20. It was an incredible honor, but still a slight.

ESPN took their crack at ranking the NBA 75, and Nowitzki climbed to 17th on their list. Should he still be higher?

Dirk Nowitzki 17th in ESPN top 75: Should the Mavericks GOAT be higher?

Dirk has the numbers of an all-time great. He is sixth in scoring, 13th in 3-pointers made, 27th in rebounds, and fourth in minutes played all time. The seven-footer revolutionized the game by stretching the floor and launching jumpers. Now, every team in the NBA has a floor-spacing big man. Nowitzki is a pioneer and a legend.

Fans could easily make a case for Nowitzki over Moses Malone, Julius Erving, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Kevin Durant. The Mavericks GOAT is one of the top 15 players of all time.

His loyalty to the Mavericks and the city of Dallas also makes him stand out. Dirk never chased a ring or took an easier way. He rooted down in Dallas and found a way to win a title. His loyalty is unique, and there will never be another player like him.

Current Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic is on his way to featuring in the NBA’s 100th-anniversary team. The 22-year-old is already a three-time All-Star and perennial MVP candidate. Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, and Dennis Rodman were other former Mavericks that featured in the NBA 75 with Nash topping ESPN’s list at 37th.

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