Dirk's Legacy: The All-Time Top 7 NBA Power Forwards
1 NBA MVP.
4-time All-NBA First Team
3-Point Shootout Champion
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.