Dirk Nowitzki a Top 10 NBA Player of All-Time? Yes, But Only Among Players Without a Ring

Dirk MVP.jpg
You know me, the biggest Dirk Nowitzki homer in town. But Rick Carlisle even made me cringe earlier this week by tabbing the Mavs' star as a top 10 NBA player "of all time."

Carlisle has been great in these NBA Playoffs. Keeping his Mavericks mentally together after the Game 4 Portland Pratfall. Playing enough zone and enough Jason Kidd to keep Kobe Bryant in check against the Lakers.

But, sorry, that opinion is crazier than a Kentucky Derby hat.

Said Carlisle on ESPN's First Take: "In my opinion, he's a top 10 player in NBA history because of the uniqueness of his game and how he's carried this franchise on his back for over a decade."

Dirk has been an MVP and a 10-time All-Star. He's been to The Finals, won the All-Star 3-point shooting contest and is one of only four players to average 25/10 in the playoffs. If he continues his scoring pace the rest of his contract, he'll finish his career as the NBA's sixth all-time leading scorer.

He's a first-ballot, no-brainer Hall of Famer. But Top 10? All-time? Nope. Not even close.

Not without a ring.

How about Jordan, Jabbar, Russell, Wilt, Magic, Bird, Duncan, Kobe, Oscar and Shaq for a Top 10? And that's without any head-scratchin' research.

A better debate is this: Is Dirk among the NBA's Top 10 all-time best players to never win a championship?

I think so.

My list goes something like this:

10. Reggie Miller -- More clutch 3-pointers than any player in NBA history

9. Steve Nash -- Two MVPs but never made it to NBA Finals

8. Patrick Ewing -- 16th all-time leading scorer changed NBA with his initimidating defense

7. Dirk Nowitzki -- '07 MVP has led Mavs to 11 consecutive 50+ win/playoff seasons

6. Charles Barkley -- '93 MVP led NBA in rebounding three times and was original Dream Teamer


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
17 comments
Charlie
Charlie

Now where do you Rank Him?!,,, now that he as a Ring,, is He not top 10 yet??

baller
baller

kobe and jordan not in your top ten nice...

Give me the stretchmark chick
Give me the stretchmark chick

My top 5, b/c my opinion is so important, would be some mix of Baylor, Dirk, Ewing, Barkley and Malone. Kidd should be in, possibly over Iverson (especially since A.I. struggled against Kidd), Stockton is right in there as the 6th best to go w/o. LBJ shouldn't be quite this high, only b/c he's so young, younger than other active players and so we're not even halfway through writing the book on him. Dirk is in top 20 All-Time territory though. The last 3 years are really showing how great he is w/ so little around him, becoming similar to LBJ w/ the Cavs the last 2 years. More Sam Merten!

LD_Richardson
LD_Richardson

"8. Patrick Ewing -- 16th all-time leading scorer changed NBA with his initimidating defense"

Whereas I agree that Ewing was a good defender, he hardly changed the NBA with "his intimidating defense". I think that Bill Russell would laugh at that statement like some folks laugh about your radio career. The most intimidating offensive and defensive player of all time,Wilt Chamberlain, would roll over in his grave were he able to read this.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

How does Kidd not merit a mention? He's the only reason Jersey was in two finals. You have Iverson very overrated, IMO.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I like your list and agree. And for those of you that don't think Iverson should be there, the things he did, at his size, are unbelievable. He's JJ Barrea x10. I don't like how thuggy he was but that was just him. It's hard to place these guys until their career is over. For example, if Chris Paul never wins a championship, we agree he's better than Steve Nash right?

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Iverson might just be the most overrated basketball player of all time. I'd rank Dirk and several others without rings before him.

And, c'mon, Richie. Was it really necessary to make this post two pages?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

So where do you put him if he wins a title this year? He can’t be on your non titles list, I say he replaces Shaq. Yeah Shaq has rings, but he couldn't make a bucket farther than 5 ft from the rim. And his free throws are atrocious. dirk is an all around better basketball player than Shaq and the numbers support it

Mighty Bombjack
Mighty Bombjack

Agreed.

Kidd is a top 5 all time PG. Dirk is a top 10 all time PF. Kidd before Dirk.

Dirk over Ewing? Dirk has 4 more feet of range on his jumper. Ewing was a better athlete, defender, and rebounder. Advantage Ewing.

Iverson is overrated by some, and underrated by others. Very polarizing. His selfish play turns off some, and his David vs. Goliath skills appeal to others (Richie). I think historically, AI ranks about the same place among guards that Dirk does among forwards.

Storm_71
Storm_71

Please Sam take this blog over please!

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Two pages is like the recent emphasis on the radio show to take calls, at least the past couple times I've bothered to listen. And the results were boring and annoying. I'm guessing it was dictated from high to take calls, since Richie was far too positive on air about trying it.

It's all about trying to weasel attention.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

The two page post is like his radio show Merten, 2 hours of content in a 5 hour package. POWGagree on Iverson, over-rated. Would rank Dirk ahead of Lebron and Ives atleast, Dirk makes his living in the West is the first/best reason. Lebron's Cle team wouldn't of made it out of the (or probably into) the first round if they were in the West.

Greggo is back on drugs
Greggo is back on drugs

Are you sure? Some of the times I try to listen Richie takes a call, acts like a douche, and hangs up on the caller and giggles. Doesn't sound like something management would want to do. If you are lowest rated sports station why would you chase off more listeners.He really needs to learn from Greggo. Greggo is the only reason I can stomach the few minutes that I do listen.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Ives did more with less IMO, but I don't think we're all going to agree with this list anyways.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

When I've listed in the 5 o'clock hour during Hardline breaks recently they've gone to the phones, Richie was telling Greggo they'd be good, and he was being positive about how quality the calls would be. Greggo was not. I gagreed with Greggo. The only calls they ever get are from guys who live in Terrell lucky to have a GED.

Loading...