Dirk's Legacy: The All-Time Top 7 NBA Power Forwards

Dirk - SI Champ.jpg
10 All-Star Appearances.

1 NBA MVP.

1 Ring.

1 NBA Finals MVP.

4-time All-NBA First Team

3-Point Shootout Champion

Soft. Clutch.

With Sunday's victory over the Miami Heat Dirk Nowitzki filled in the final void of his Hall of Fame resume. Only things potentially left that would improve his legacy are unattainable because of his skill set: Defense player of the Year (He's medicore at best). All-Star Game MVP (Nobody passes to him because no one wants to see Flamingo Fadeaways over dunks). Lead the NBA in scoring (Maybe).

Combining his talents with an undeniable work ethic, Dirk has maxed out his potential. Which is all any us really desire, right?

Not that Dirk is done. He turns 33 on Sunday and since his game is founded on awkwardly graceful fakes and impossible angles and unprecedented shooting, he shouldn't decline as quickly as high-flying stars who need elevation and athleticism to excel.

If he doesn't win another game, where does Dirk rank on the list of all-time NBA power forwards? Pretty dang high.

7. Elvin Hayes -- Like Dirk, mostly an offensive player who won a ring with the Washington Bullets in '78 but was never MVP.

6. Kevin McHale -- Three championships playing with Larry Bird in Boston but was never MVP and only once All-NBA.

5. Charles Barkley -- MVP also led NBA in rebounding multiple times and finished with 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists. But never won a title in Philadelphia, Phoenix or Houston.

4. Karl Malone -- Second-most points in NBA history, three-time All-Defense and two MVPs. With a ring, The Mailman would be No. 2, perhaps No. 1.

3. Dirk Nowitzki -- His Flamingo Fadeaway is this generation's Sky Hook. Unblockable. And championship winning. And history will show that he basically won his title all by himself. Duncan had multiple All-Star helpers, Garnett had Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, Malone had John Stockton and Dirk had ... Jason Terry.

2. Kevin Garnett -- Not as offensively skilled as Dirk--and wasn't the Alpha Dog on Boston's title team--but more than made up for it at defensive end. He has four rebounding crowns and nine first team All-Defense teams.

1. Tim Duncan -- He had help via David Robinson, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker, but he dominant in the lane at both ends on four championship teams. Duncan was even more dominant on the low block that Dirk is at the left elbow.


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41 comments
Jason
Jason

Someone should tell this writer that Duncan won in 2003 with a rookie Manu, a before-his-prime Tony Parker who got benched in the 4th Q for Speedy Claxton, and an aged David Robinson.  It wasn't until 2005 & 2007 where the Duncan/Parker/Ginobili/Bowen engine was running full steam.

With the Finals MVP, Dirk moves up this list significantly.  He may be below KG because of defensive ability, but then again, Dirk's teams have consistently won for over a decade.  KG had one good year in Minny.

At the top is obvioiusly Duncan, but the battle for #2 is fierce.

matt
matt

1. Duncan2. Malone3. Petit4. Barkley5. Dirk6. KG

Just Me
Just Me

Last week you had Wilt ahead of Russell because of stats and not rings.  Now all of the sudden rings matter?  Make up your mind.

Rob_Em
Rob_Em

I have Dirk at #6 on the all time power forward list.  We both agree Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett go ahead of Dirk.

I also put Bob Pettit ahead of Dirk.  Pettit had a ring, had two MVPs to Dirk's one, and he had 10 All-NBA first team appearances.

I put Karl Malone ahead of Dirk.  Malone didn't have a ring, but he does have two MVPs to Dirk's one, along with 11 All-NBA first team appearances (basically meaning he was the best forward of his era), and 3 All-Defensive first team appearances, something Dirk has never come close to doing.  Malone also has the second most points in NBA history behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I've still got Charles Barkley, also an MVP, ahead of Dirk.  Here's why.  The rules of basketball have been changed to prevent people like Barkley from being as effective.  The rules of basketball were changed to make people like Dirk more effective.  If the "Flamingo Fadeaway" becomes such a problem that the NBA changes the rules to make it illegal, we can revisit this conversation.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Spurs homer-douche here, I'd elevate Dirk to #2. Reason? He carried his team more than the others. Garnett didn't do shit with Minn., and he was #3 option when he got his title. Malone without Stockton is like cookies without cream(what the what?). He couldn't get a title even going to the Lakers. Barkley was good, he buried my Spurs in '93(? i think) on his way to getting beat by the Bulls, very Dirk-like in carrying his team. Couldn't get that elusive title even when he was teamed up with Drexler and Olauwon. McHale? Let's see, Bird, Parrish, Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge, etc. Had a ton of help.

Now for my homer-douche comment and nut-kicking

I like how you basically are insinuating Duncan didn't win on his own. Duh. The Mavs don't win game 6 without Terry. Every team has pieces that helped them win the title, even Jordan.

Spurs All stars during Duncan's tenure: Ginobili x1, Parker x3, Robinson x10.  As opposed to the Mavs all stars: Kidd 10x, Howard x1, Nash x2, Finley x2. Your argument is pretty baseless. According to your reasoning, Dirk sucks because he did less with more.

Mishon
Mishon

Also, I would put The Mailman at the top. So he doesn't have a ring? Big freakin deal. His other stats make up for it and if he didn't have Jordan standing in his way, he would have won a couple.

Daniel
Daniel

I'd put Dirk at #2. Offensively, as far as having the ability to score from anywhere on the court at any time, I have him at #1. Duncan, as much as I hate to say this, can remain #1 because of his post play and defense.

Test
Test

There's something important left undone, nobody's mentioned it as far as I can tell - Time to defend a championship. Can't wait to see how they do.

Mishon
Mishon

Was Moses Malone considered more of a center over a power forward? Because if not he should definetly be on the list.

GreggosCokeScarredSeptum
GreggosCokeScarredSeptum

Your obsessiion with making "Falmingo Fadeaway" part of the basketball lexicon is becoming pathetic...

Kimindallas
Kimindallas

You're trying so hard to make Dirk the best it's pathetic. 

Dirk Goes #2 (gross, right?)
Dirk Goes #2 (gross, right?)

I think you can put Dirk as high as number two. And I'd rank both Malone and Barkley ahead of Garnett. Number 5 seems about right for KG.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I'd put Dirk above Garnett, simply because of the supporting cast issue. But would have McHale at #2 because of the three championships.  I'm sooo good with Dirk being ranked third ALL-TIME, wow..them Rings mean stuff amiright?BREAKING NEWS SOUNDER: It's being reported that DeShawn was arrested for PI last night.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Yes yes, I can tell the children are out of school, there hadnt been one stupid first post until this dumbass reared his head again!

Real Rooster
Real Rooster

That felt good.  Ok, now I'll go back and read it.

Tgc281
Tgc281

I'll put dirk over kg just do to the fact dirk is #1 on his team kg is not. age will make dirk separate from him even more while kg is still good he is fading fast dirk on the other hand his game allows him to live much longer. If dirk gets another ring by the time his carrer is over the argument will only be whos the best pf timmy or dirk

Storm_71
Storm_71

Rob brother I admit I'm not just a super big basketball fan but who the fuck is Bob Pettit?

Daniel
Daniel

How did I not know you were a Spurs fan? I suddenly want to embrace my RAGE a little less.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

We all know that the Spuuuuurs (the way Cubes says it) were and are Dunc's team.  And he is/was a better defender than Dirk and has more rings.  Nobody's arguing about Dunc's place on this listy thingamabob.

Storm_71
Storm_71

Please change your avatar please. Richie's laser eyes really creep me out. Plus I'm afraid that the bigger eye of the two is going to some how shoot out of my screen at me.  Please TRDP1 do for all of us.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

If's and But's brother..No #1 for the Mailman..cause the Mailman doesn't deliver (championships) hahahahaha-Norm laughter.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I put him at #2 as well,until I thought about it more and remembered his lack of defense stands out, but he played really well against the Heat. If Dirk played defense his entire career and was a go-to stopper, he'd easily be #2.

Westleydean
Westleydean

i disagree even though kevin mchale was a great power forward his stats are not even close to dirks

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

McHale wasn't the #1 guy on those Celtics teams though. After thinking about it, it's hard for Dirk to go higher than #3 because of the defense aspect. Your elite PF plays both ways. Garnett can still play defense. If Dirk doesn't have the offense, his defense won't bail him out. That's the greatness of JKidd. Even at 38, his defense is better than most PG's and he gets the ball in the right place.

Rooster
Rooster

It's so funny how eat up you guys are with me. You guys must lose sleep thinking about me at night. So great!

Ribby
Ribby

he had the good good arm cowling flex inverse ratio.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I just love RW's downplaying. What Dirk did vs. what Garnett and McHale did winning with their teams, just isn't comparable.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Amen Storm...I've already asked him to do it..I'd rather the pink Mav's logo...or a sharp stick in the (bulgey) eye.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

actually, the only time I EVER think of you is when your dumbass posts here, other than that, I got nothing for you.  The legend is in your own mind.  Now go get your fucking shinebox

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Next time I'm going to specify that it has to be 5 registered posters.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Damn you guys. You probably got on anonymous names just to put the like count up higher.

Rooster
Rooster

The obsession you, Shoulder, Crockett, et al, have with me is just pure greatness....

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