Best NBA Draft steals of all time: Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
Dirk Nowitzki is often considered the greatest European player to ever play in the NBA.
Selected ninth overall in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, Dirk was traded on draft night to the Dallas Mavericks. He would never play for another team.
Coming from a German club, Nowitzki had a legendary career for the Mavericks.
After a slow rookie season, Nowitzki took off. As a 7-foot, perimeter-oriented big man, he primarily played power forward in the NBA, making him one of the elite stretch big men in the game.
Nowitzki’s list of accolades is impressive: a 14-time NBA All-Star, 12 selections to the All-NBA team, the 2010-11 NBA Finals MVP and champion and NBA MVP in his 2006-07 season. He will most certainly be a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Nowitzki spent his entire career in Dallas, becoming the team’s most decorated player in its history. He is the franchise’s statistical leader in games, seasons, points, rebounds, blocks, field goals, 3-point field goals and free throws.
He is also the sixth highest scoring player in NBA history.
Nowitzki will forever be a legend both in Germany and Dallas. His patented “Dirk fadeaway” — a one-legged turn around jump shot — has been copied and used by some of the league’s greatest players.
To be the greatest European player to ever play in the NBA at the ninth pick in the draft makes Nowitzki one of the great draft steals ever.