#NBARank: Dirk Nowitzki not in top 10?
Kobe Bryant’s Lakers, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s Thunder and LeBron James and Dwyane Wade’s Heat.
The respect Nowitzki earned was reflected by his lofty spot in ESPN.com’s #NBARank: No. 5.
Now? Nowitzki has slipped out of the top 10, landing at No. 11 in this year’s edition of #NBARank. He had one of the biggest slides on the point-based voting system, dropping from 9.67 to 8.64.
The afterglow of the title run is gone. Nowitzki is coming off his worst statistical season since 1999-2000, his second year in the league and the last time he didn’t receive some type of All-NBA recognition.
Is No. 11 too low for a legend still capable of lighting it up? That depends on whether you believe last season was a lockout-related aberration or the beginning of Dirk’s decline.
Let's compare Nowitzki to players who have yet to be ranked. You could make a strong case for Nowitzki over Deron Williams, but coach Rick Carlisle’s pre-summer, on-the-record comment that the Mavs’ goal was to make Dirk the second-best player on the Dallas roster would be used against you. Then again, that might have just been part of a failed recruiting pitch to the native of The Colony.
Wade and Westbrook? They’re second fiddles on Finals teams -- and Wade is another star whose decline might have started -- but they put up better numbers than Nowitzki last season.
What about fellow power forward Kevin Love? He averaged 26.0 points per game, is the league’s best rebounder and is Nowitzki’s peer as a 3-point shooter. But Love has never even played in a playoff game, much less put a team on his back for a title run.
Knees willing, and Nowitzki says they are, No. 11 is a little low for the Mavs’ No. 41.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.