Late in the third quarter against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night, Nov. 12th, Dirk Nowitzki connected on a three-point shot from roughly 25 feet out. This was not a typical basket for Nowitzki, since the long-range bucket elevated Nowitzki to no. 16 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Nowitzki passed the NBA logo himself, Jerry West, with the bucket.
Nowitzki is in his 16th season in the NBA and he’s beginning to put himself in the company of the very best that the NBA has seen. Within the next month Nowitzki will likely overtake Reggie Miller for 15th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
How far can he go?
At 35 years old, Nowitzki may not duplicate the best years of his career, but he is still averaging over 18 points per game. Nowitzki is attempting fewer shots per game, but that is only because scorers like Monta Ellis have allowed Nowitzki to selectively pick his spots on the court.
Nowitzki has 25,197 points to date; he is less than 1,500 points behind John Havlicek, who currently occupies the No. 12 spot on the all-time scoring list. If he continues to score at his current pace, Nowitzki will be approaching the top ten all-time leading scorers by the end of the season.
The names that Nowitzki will be passing in the near future include a list of hall of fame players and one soon to be hall of fame player in Kevin Garnett. If Nowitzki can avoid injuries, Reggie Miller, Alex English, John Havlicek, Dominique Wilkins and Oscar Robertson will all be looking up to Nowitzki on the all-time scoring list within the next two seasons.
Cementing a legacy
With an MVP award, 11 All-Star game appearances, an NBA Finals MVP award and a 2011 NBA championship trophy, Nowizki has solidified himself as one of the greatest players of his generation. As he continues to surpass some of the greatest players the NBA has ever seen, his legacy continues to grow. Nowitzki has reached his career accomplishments with the same team that he began his career with. Nowitzki has had no contract disputes, no threats of leaving Dallas to team up with another group of free agents on a coastal city, no complaints about his fellow players or coaching staff in his 16 seasons in the league.
In today’s NBA, great players like Nowitzki who produce at a high level on the court and provide a model example of what NBA players should be off the court are a rare breed. The milestones that Nowitzki continues to accomplish only serve as a reminder of what a dependable, uniquely talented player Nowitzki has been throughout his career.