Dallas Mavericks: Oscar Robertson
Kidd came within one point of a triple-double earlier this month, when he had 10 rebounds and 12 assists in a win over the Golden State Warriors. His 107 career triple-doubles rank behind only Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson in NBA history and are more than the combined total of the next four active triple-double leaders (LeBron James, Grant Hill, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett).
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kidd's 17 consecutive seasons with a triple-double is by far the longest such streak in NBA history. Next on that list: Johnson (12), Robertson (11), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (10) and Larry Bird (9).
"In my opinion, he'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," Carlisle told "ESPN First Take" on Monday.
All due respect to Dirk, but that seems to be a slight exaggeration. There’s still plenty of time to prove his coach right – and it’ll take at least one title to do so – I’d rank Nowitzki somewhere in the upper teens or lower 20s right now.
Nowitzki ranks 23rd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, and he’ll likely end up in the top six by the time he finishes the four-year contract he signed last summer. But it’s not stepping out on a limb to suggest that some players who rank below him on that list – Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan, Julius Erving and John Stockton – are on a tier above Dirk among the league’s legends.
One man’s opinion on the top 10 players in NBA history at this point (and it’s assumed LeBron James will earn a spot here in the near future):
1. Michael Jordan
2. Wilt Chamberlain
3. Bill Russell
4. Magic Johnson
5. Larry Bird
6. Oscar Robertson
7. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
8. Tim Duncan
9. Kobe Bryant
10. Hakeem Olajuwon
Can Dirk crack a list that even Shaq didn’t? It’d take a phenomenal finish to his Hall of Fame career.
It took him all of 19 days to become just the third player in league history to register a triple-double at that age.
Utah’s Karl Malone did it as a 40-year old early in the 2003-04 season. Elvin Hayes had one at 38 with Houston on April 13, 1984.
And then there’s Kidd.
Eleven points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds in Saturday’s 126-108 rout at Sacramento gave the Mavericks’ point guard 105 career triple-doubles, behind only Oscar Robertson’s 181 and Magic Johnson’s 138 on the all-time list.
John Stockton had one triple-double in a playoff game for the Jazz at age 39 -- against Dallas in the teams’ memorable first-round clash in 2001 -- but never in a regular-season game.
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