Friday, May 13, 2011

On the Contrary: Dirk's not Top 10

In an article on, Rick Carlisle recently stated, "In my opinion, [Dirk'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."

I'm sorry, but Dirk Nowitzki is not one of the 10 best players in NBA history.  Here's the unequivocal top 9 players in history (in no particular order):

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Michael Jordan
Bill Russell
Magic Johnson
Larry Bird
Wilt Chamberlain
Tim Duncan
Kobe Bryant
Oscar Robertson

For Dirk to get that last spot, he'd have to be better than Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, Moses Malone, and Jerry West.  He's not.  I don't think that he'll end up better than Baylor or Erving.  Add in guys like Karl Malone, LeBron and Kevin Garnett and Dirk's clearly not top 10.  In the hardcover edition of The Book of Basketball, Bill Simmons ranked Dirk at 37 all-time.  The 2009 edition of Slam Magazine doesn't even have Dirk in the top 50.  So no, Dirk is not one of the top 10 players of all-time.

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