The Dallas Mavericks traded back in the 1998 NBA Draft to select Dirk Nowitzki, a skinny seven-foot teenager out of Wurzburg, Germany. Nobody expected him to become an all-time great at that moment. Don and Donnie Nelson believed in Dirk’s talent, but most future first-ballot Hall of Famers do not slip to ninth in the draft.
There were some rough moments early in Nowitzki’s career. He struggled to adjust to life in America during his rookie season, but Dirk just kept getting better. He averaged over 21 points in his third season, and by his fourth, he was an All-Star. Dirk transformed into a first-team All-NBA talent and MVP before winning a championship in 2011 to cement his status as one of the greatest to ever do it.
Nowitzki played his entire 21-year NBA career for the Dallas Mavericks, and the team is honoring him on Jan. 5 by retiring his number 41 jersey. Fans remember his retirement game, and Wednesday promises to be another chance to give props to the GOAT. Dirk is different. There are a lot of things that make him unique, and here is a look at what separates him from other all-time greats.
5 things that separate Dirk Nowitzki from other all-time greats
Dirk is unquestionably one of the best players of all time and the greatest Maverick. He is sixth all-time in scoring, third in minutes played, 13th in 3-pointers made, and 27th in rebounds. Nowitzki also holds the records for the most consecutive seasons spent with one franchise, and he revolutionized the game for seven-footers everywhere.
What makes Dirk Nowitzki a great among greats? Here is a closer look.