• December 5, 2022

LeBron James And Dirk Nowitzki Chase Their First NBA Title

During this year’s NBA Playoffs many fans, analysts and pundits have begun playing the comparison game with two of the NBA’s marquee names.

The Miami Heat’s Lebron James and the Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki have given us great games and moments in this year’s playoffs – raising comparisons to some of the games all-time greats.

Is the speculation fair, or even accurate to assess?

Dirk Nowitzki’s great career wears the albatross of playoff disappointment upon playoff disappointment. Despite being the face of the Dallas Mavericks organization for 13 seasons including an MVP run in 2006-2007 – Nowitzki is still in pursuit of his first NBA Championship after 13 seasons.

Considered by many to be the greatest foreign player to enter the NBA, Nowitzki’s exceptional shooting ability for a player his size has drawn the comparison to former Boston Celtics great Larry Bird. And while he and Bird share the ability to change games with their streaky shooting Bird who played 13 seasons was more of a complete player averaging 10 rebounds and 10 assists to go along with his 24 ppg. Bird’s 59 career triple-doubles to Nowitzki’s 2 is a clear indicator that Bird was a better all-around player and worked hard at maintaining that status.

Defensively, Bird was more polished totaling nearly twice as many steals in his career as Nowitzki and was as unselfish as they come averaging 6.3 assists per contest. Where Bird chose to mix it up in the paint, Dirk wasn’t as aggressive in that area – had he been, I could see him averaging double-digits in rebounds and more than one block per game for his career. Dirk’s shortcomings as a defensive player do not take away from the fact that he is one of greatest pure shooters that the NBA has seen,

The microscope has been looked onto Lebron James since he was a 10th grader and as time has progressed the magnification has only intensified. It reached it’s maximum this season when James made he “Decision” along with Chris Bosh to team up with Dwayne Wade in Miami. Drawing the ire of fans nationwide for aligning himself two accomplished stars — increasing his chances to win an NBA title while forming one of the more formidable trios in NBA history.

James has looked as dominant as ever in these NBA playoffs and automatically the Jordan comparisons are being thrown about, despite James not having won an NBA title. I believe that the Jordan comparisons come only because of the number of championships people now look for James to win since joining the Heat.

James’ game meshes more favorably with that of Magic Johnson’s, despite not playing the natural point guard position James ability to score at will as well as being a good rebounder and assist man make this unprecedented for a man at 6’8″ 270 lbs. If there is a weakness in James offensive game is the ability to knock down his mid-range shot with consistency. That’s a small flaw considering what he’s able to do without one.

As a defender, James can guard players 1 through 4 with effectiveness, he has a great ability to anticipate passes that lead to steals and easy baskets. James ability to run down the opposition in transition turns a surefire layup into a break going the other way courtesy of a block shot.

Nowitzki and James are two players that may draw comparisons to past greats, but have in their own way carved out their own places in NBA history. The help of an NBA championship which one of these two will win will only add to their greatness.

Ron Glover

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SportsBum
SportsBum
May 30, 2011 2:43 pm

LeBron with his 2 superstar teammates, along with the refs helping them tremendously is the only reason LeBron is even in this position to chase his 1st NBA title. And people are actually saying that he could be better than Jordan? LMAO

paulman
paulman
May 30, 2011 7:36 pm

Jordan doesn’t play anymore and hasn’t for years so let it go..
LeBron is the best all around player in todays NBA (along with Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade right behind him)
I still don’t like the guy, but I know the NBA’s Best Players when I see them play..

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
May 30, 2011 10:10 pm

Sportsbum, your such a hater… the refs are calling the games down the line nothing outrageous going on, but i will agree that hes not in Jordans league

Pman, the list is as follows

Top 5 in the league

1.Lebron James

2. Dwade

3. Dirk

4. Chris Paul

5. DRose

paulman
paulman
May 30, 2011 11:02 pm

Not to change the Subject..
Another action of Proof about how far the Penn State Athletics has fallen
Basketball HC E DeChilles (an alumni who just Coached Penn State to the NCAA Tournament for the 1st time in years) resigns his position since the School would not extend his contract (he was in his final season) so he leaves his Alma-MAter, the big bad Penn State for a HC position at the NAval Acadamy.. Penn State cannot even keep their own anymore.. What a shamble they have become since joining the Big 10 which they are way out of their league in and will become another institution with a “Who-Cares” following about their Athletics (outside of their Volleyball teams) What a disgrace and a road to nowhwere that Joe Paterno has led that Athletic Dept and school down…

Erock
Erock
May 31, 2011 10:16 am

Bron is Bron…there will never be another Mike. Too compare him is ridic…Miek was a 2…he couldnt guard 3-4’s.Unless the 3 was a skill forward,maybe. Mike could lock down points. But Bron cant drain 45 at will. Bron cant hit the fallaway at will. Im giving the nod to Mike with regards to dribble drive skills. Mike could soar. Bron is a different player. And him going too the Heat too get a title(or shot at one) and people ripping that…thinking its taking the easy route…its ridic. Kobe didnt win ish without Shaq…Gasol,Artest,Fish,and other major role players. Yes Wade is superstar status…but dont try and sell me Bosh as anything but a solid role player.

Mike didnt win anything until Pippen turned into one of the best defenders in the league…Rodman?Some of the best shooting white boys in the league. And Horace Grant….dude was an animal.

fran35
fran35
May 31, 2011 11:09 am

Ron,
Your article made me realize how dominant Larry Bird was during his day. I guess I had forgotten how good he was and how complete his game was. As far as Bron vs. Jordan….there will never be another Mike. You can’t even compare the two. Until Bron wins several rings, which he probably will not do, Bron just won’t compare. The one area where Bron is superior is his ability to lock down so many different positions. MJ could lock down either guard position, but never able to handle the more physical small forwards.And for MJ to guard a PF? Forget it, he couldn’t handle it. Realistically, Lebron is alot more comparable size and skill wise to Magic–albeit without the rings.
As far as being charismatic and likeable, Lebron cannot touch MJ. Michael had that smile and confidence that made him the face of not just the NBA, but professional sports in general. Lebron self promotes a little too much for my taste. The stupid “Decision” show, the ridiculous party in South Beach last year and the self proclamation as “King” have really made me dislike this otherwise decent guy. With Mike, I never felt like he was contrived or trying to fit a mold–he was the mold. With Lebron, who from an early age has been treated like he was the next great one, seems to lack the killer instinct and fierce competitiveness that MJ had.

RonGlover
May 31, 2011 12:03 pm

All great points fran35 and no athlete will have the Madison Ave effect that Jordan had. The man singlehandedly turned Nike into an empire and was allowed to break away and go with his own brand. Now that’s power.

SportsBum
SportsBum
May 31, 2011 4:46 pm

LeBron is overhyped as hell, that is why I hate on him. He isn’t the best player in the league. He ain’t better than Kobe. That is how much LeBron is overrated. It is a joke. Him being compared to MJ. Get the hell out of here. The guy has no heart. That is why he sold himself out to do “The Decision” as well as joining 2 other superstars because he knows he is a choker and can’t do it on his own. He didn’t want a challenge, he wanted the easy way out.

SportsBum
SportsBum
May 31, 2011 4:47 pm

Oh, and he along with the whole Miami Heat team is definitely getting heavily favored in calls. If you deny that, you are either an extreme homer or weren’t watching the games. My guess is that you are just on his nuts, because you have him listed #1 and Kobe not even on the list. That is what LeBron fanboys do, because they know Kobe is really better than him.

RonGlover
May 31, 2011 5:11 pm

@Jon Hart, in the previous story you did two Top 10 lists and you had Kobe ranked number 5 in both lists, now he’s not ranked in your Top 5??? C’mon man.

SportsBum
SportsBum
May 31, 2011 5:17 pm

That is what blinded LeBron lovers do. I don’t even like Kobe, but I believe he is the best in the NBA right now. LeBron is probably #2 right now with Kevin Durant not too far behind.

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
May 31, 2011 9:12 pm

SportsDumb, lets get something straight you Lebron haterizer, where is kobe at right now, and where is lebron? Kobe is home and lebron is about to win his first title. You can still think kobe is the best in the league all you want but many analyst not just myself have said kobe isnt the best in the league anymore, they say lebron is and its true. Look at how much kobes numbers have fallen off hes a shell of himself so dont give me that. Hes 33 yrs old and isnt getting any younger, he does have 5 championships but he did it only with the likes of shaq and gasol, and when he didnt have those players around him what did he do? Request a trade!!!! He wanted out of town. Sounds like someone that didnt trust his own teammates. So shut up with all the lebron hate hater, in this league today you need more than one superstar, look at the bulls this yrs just like i thought would happen got eliminated because they dont have enough weapons, Lebron already looks like a genius being that he made such a decision and actually made it to the finals but he ll look even smarter and smarter after winning the title… So sportsdumb continue to watch and hate while Lebron makes you all pay for it…

SportsBum
SportsBum
May 31, 2011 9:19 pm

LOL at Gasol being a powerhouse. LeBron didn’t even win a championship, yet you are proclaiming that he is about to win one. It is quite obvious how much of a bandwagon homer you are. Keep talking idiot. That is all you can do, because you have nothing to back up your idiocy. LeBron has no championships, and until he gets 5, he ain’t close. You look at this year to prove that LeBron is better. LMAO, because LeBron has been nothing the past 7 years in the league. You jump on the one year that LeBron has made it further than Kobe. Nice logic retard with a computer. Now get off the computer and go play with your thumbs some more. This is big boy talk and you shouldn’t be on here.

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
May 31, 2011 9:20 pm

Ron Glover good article by the way, but i added chris paul to my list and i feel that at this point hes better than kobe… kobe has fallen off big time and wont win another title again. Hes been playing nba basketball since he was 17, too much wear and tear, this happens to all superstars. so Lebron, wade, dirk (who eliminated the lakers this yr) rose and paul all are better then him. Proof is in the pudding…

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
May 31, 2011 9:30 pm

SportsDumb, lebron hasnt done anything in 7 years? this is why youve been coined the official name SportsDumb on this site. Lebron single handedly brought a sucky team to the finals with no superstars around him. Brought them to the playoffs every year he was there and had the best record in the nba with the sucky cavs a yr ago, look at the franchise now? the worst team in the league trying to pick up the peices so dont give me that crap, kobe could never do that to a sucky team, hed request a trade just like he did before gasol artest and them got there, so learn the game and do your research before talkin to me bruh…

SportsBum
SportsBum
May 31, 2011 9:38 pm

Didn’t you just say that Kobe isn’t good anymore because he didn’t make the finals, he is sitting at home? By your standards, LeBron has done nothing the past 7 years. That is how stupid you are. LeBron is so good, he single handedly brought a sucky team to the playoffs every year, so good that he choked every year……. HE CHOKED, not the sucky team around him. He is so good at realizing that, and that is why he joined Bosh and Wade on the Heat. Hell, even you proclaim LeBron and Wade the best 2 players in the league, and they didn’t even have the best record in the East. So you might want to listen to your own advise and learn the game before trying to talk to people that aren’t retarded. I commend you for trying to be a normal person without down syndrome, but you are out of your league and should just stop while you’re ahead, bruh….

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
May 31, 2011 10:04 pm

Lebron has been the best player in basketball for the past 3-4 yrs its just he hasnt had the supporting cast of superstars around him.

Kobe has been on the decline, even in the finals last yr he played horribly, but had 12 boards, hes a shell off himself, there wont be a redemption yr for him either hes done

SportsBum
SportsBum
May 31, 2011 10:15 pm

Listen to yourself. LeBron has been the best player, but he just hasn’t had the supporting cast or superstars around him. LMAO at that statement alone.

I will say Kobe is probably on the decline. I mean, he is getting up there in age, and has been playing since he was 17, but at this point, he is still ahead of LeBron. And at some point, Kobe won’t be the best in the NBA, but he will always be better than LeBron for their careers, and LeBron might only be the best in the NBA for a very short time with Durant moving up in the league. Another person you left off your top 5, probably because it is another person that is a threat to LeBron, and makes it hard for you to argue for your loverboy.

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
May 31, 2011 10:17 pm

SportsDumb stop ya whinin, kobe is done and Lebron is the best in the league and has been for the past 3-4 years, get over it. Your such a hater that its sickening, your the type of guy that when in elementary school during recess the best kids that picked teams would never pick you to be on there teams and your bitter over that and harbor resentment, Is that what you see when you see lebron? lol Poor guy, its okay. Just be a realist and admit when someone is a great player and stop hating so much…

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
May 31, 2011 10:19 pm

And Durant was left out for a reason, hes not on the other guys levels, he doesnt make anyone better, the guys before him does

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
May 31, 2011 10:26 pm

Top 10 NBA Superstars

1. Lebron James

2. DWade

3. Dirk

4. Chris Paul

5. DRose

6. Kobe

7. Durant

8. Paul Pierce

9. Dwight Howard

10. Melo

*Subject To Change

SportsBum
SportsBum
May 31, 2011 10:28 pm

LOL at your psychoanalysis. I am hating so much on LeBron that I even said that he is the 2nd best player in the league. See how stupid your argument is? You are the one that won’t even put Kobe in the top 5. Hell, you probably wouldn’t put him in the top 10. You are such a homer that you can’t even admit to Kobe being that close to LeBron because you know like many others that he is really better, so you don’t even want to give Kobe that much. Get off LeBron’s d*ck. No matter how much you want him to ejaculate in your mouth, it will never come true.

Again proving how little you know about the sport. I will repeat your statement, “learn the game and do your research before talkin to me bruh”, because you just sound stupid with that argument about Durant. Name the superstars on the Thunder besides Durant? There are none, yet they got to the Western Conference Finals because of Durant and because the others play better because of him. You’re a joke, son.

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
May 31, 2011 10:53 pm

SportsDumb, Have you ever heard of a guy named russell westbrook? Hes almost elite but isnt yet. He had a guy on his squad averaging over 20+ a game, durant just does not get his teammates better at all, not to say he wont develop that part of his game but he has not yet. Thats part of the reason they havent gotten past the western conference finals, i actually had the thunder in the finals with the heat but now we all could see why theyre not ready yet….

I initially had kobe at 5, but chris paul is a better player then him at this point in his career plain and simple. Numbers dont lie. Kobe is going downward. no more upside. Lebron Gets everyone involved in the game even before himself. He is the best all around player in the league.

When Jordan played there wasnt anyone saying other guys were better then him. Kobe has heard for awhile now that other guys were better. From mcgrady, to iverson, to paul peirce, to dwade, to lebron. Its been official for about 4 years now that Bron Bron is better than kobe and is the best in the league, you just need to catch up with everyone else and start living in reality… And for your info im a sixers fan but recognize a great player and team when i see one….

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
May 31, 2011 10:57 pm

Kobe used to be the best or at least near the best in the league until Dwade, Bron Bron and them came along. Kobe was a top 5 player maybe 4 years ago but not anymore…

bugsyhawk
bugsyhawk
June 1, 2011 8:43 am

One question Jon… Have you been watching basketball for the past 4 years? Who won the last 2 NBA Championships and was in the Finals the year before that? Kobe was the driving force for those teams. You say that is official, but ask any player in the league or analyst and they won’t agree with you. You are letting your love for LeBron cloud your vision.

paulman
paulman
June 1, 2011 9:10 am

Kobe can’t be on a Top 10 list since he’s from Philadelphia.. Sorry fellas…

RonGlover
June 1, 2011 9:21 am

Slight decline in his game? Yes. Noticable wear and tear on his body?Yes. Not a Top 5 player in this League? Not Yet!

Sorry Jon, you’re writing Bryant off way too soon you’ve gone way to the left with these fraudulent lists that have no credibility since you’ve had to come up with three on two different posts. Kobe is on the other side of his career but that drastic dropoff hasn’t occurred yet. Don’t believe me? Ask any GM if they would be willing to make room on their roster for him if they had the cap space. I would say at least half break their banks to get him.

RealTalk777
RealTalk777
June 1, 2011 10:13 am

Kobe has adjusted his game over time just like Mike did…There is no decline in Kobe’s game, his jump shot is better, his all around game is better, may not be as quick as he once was, but the offensive skills he possesses now, far surpasses the skills he had back in the day…The only player I’d even dare to compare Mike too, is Kobe! Not because of the rings, because I see that same kind of fire in Kobe that Mike had….That take over the game, lock you down on defense mentality….
Comparing Lebron to Magic is a much better comparison.

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
June 1, 2011 10:26 am

Bugsy, as we saw last night that is why lebron is the best in the league and wade is a very close 2nd if not tied for 1st, I’m actually a bigger wade fan… man have you seen kobes numbers the past 4 years, he wasn’t no driving force for the titles F outta here… his numbers have dropped off significantly, yes he has the titles but look at his supporting cast, he’s always had some of the best players in the league around him. He doesn’t get his teammates involved, he’s nothin more then a gunner and wannabe mike jordan

When has kobe brought a sucky team to the playoffs and nba finals? Never, he’s complained and asked to be traded. All he did in his career thatg was impressive was score 81 points, but still gunned his way to it…

Bugsy again your wrong, all the analyst are saying exactly what I’m saying the kobe is on the decline, that he’s lost steps and that lebron is the best in the league, you just need to catch up

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
June 1, 2011 10:28 am

Lebron is a mix between magic and jordan. Wade reminds me of jordan the most out of everyone

RonGlover
June 1, 2011 10:33 am

RealTalk777, I made the Magic/Lebron either in this piece or another, I’ve always said that.Kobe is the only player that can be spoken in the same breath as Jordan. And it will probably be that way for awhile.

@Jon,I have one question for you. Did Lebron quit on his teammates in that closeout game in Boston? All I want is a yes or no.

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
June 1, 2011 10:42 am

Ron,thats why i said my list is subject to change, top 10 lists always change, the names change but the game doesnt. Kobe in my eyes is no longer a top 5 player, check the mans stats hes on a sharp decline. Everyone keeps talking about all his titles,what games stand out to any of you in those finals that he played in where you seen him dominate? None. I can recall all 6 finals games where Jordan dominated and left his mark, all 6. And thats why hes undefeated in the nba finals 6-0. Kobe isnt.

Shaq did most of the work anyway and they had deadly shooters around him, idc if hes from philly. And now were able to see great basketball on both ends of the floor in Wade and Bron Bron, kobes done…

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
June 1, 2011 10:44 am

Ron since were asking questions, did kobe or didnt he request a trade when he had sucky sucky players around him?

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
June 1, 2011 10:49 am

Your talking about a game that happen a year or so ago while the man is now currently as we speak in the nba finals. But to answer your question, An emphatic NO! he did not quit on his teammates in that game, they quit on him, he can only do but so much, whats he supposed to do pee and crap for them too? ugh… hes a genius for leaving that crappy team, now hes on his way to winning a title…

RonGlover
June 1, 2011 10:51 am

Frustration is my guess, no one is denying that he didn’t want to be traded we all heard the soundbytes. I see you still haven’t answered my question.

Top 10 lists tend to change over a matter of time, yours was literally over a matter of hours, that’s not analyzing, sounds more like confusion or nonsense to pad your argument.

I’ll be waiting on your answer.

RonGlover
June 1, 2011 10:57 am

And you’re talking about a trade request that goes even further back. He quit and you know it but you’ll never admit it. It doesn’t take a genius to do what he did.

What did the Lakers do when Kobe made that trade request? They went out and got better players resulting in two more rings.

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
June 1, 2011 11:11 am

Exactly thats my point, what did the organization do for lebron? nothing so lebrons contract was up, he was there for about 7 years, enough was enough he took that sucky team as far as they were gonna go. At least he tried and didnt quit on the team like kobe tried to do until he was givin a baby bottle, give me a break kobe is a cry baby, lebron is a realist. He tried with that team, kobe complained to the media and quit on his team…. no comparison whatsoever….

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
June 1, 2011 11:12 am

Ron. i answered your question

RonGlover
June 1, 2011 11:16 am

I saw it after I finished my last post.

And he did quit.

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
June 1, 2011 11:50 am

Ron, seeing that thats your opinion about what lebron did against the celtics, (i dont share your view at all), but you must agree that kobe flat out quit on his team before the bynamsand gasol and odoms and artest came along…

RonGlover
June 1, 2011 11:56 am

That occured in the off season if you remember. That man NEVER quit on the court, don’t even imply that. What he did in the offseason and what James did in an actual game are totally different.

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
June 1, 2011 1:11 pm

Ron, What??? Did they not make the playoffs? Kobe couldnt drive that team to the playoffs, he can only lead if he has allstars around him, get the F outta here. your being extremely technical all in an effort to discredit lebron… such a hater

RonGlover
June 1, 2011 1:52 pm

I’m trying to disrcredit him, I like Lebron. I make these arguments for guys like you that have this slobberfest with him. Have of the stuff you spew doesn’t even make remote sense. I just asked you if he quit on his team. Bottom line is he needs stars around him too. Who doesn’t? Funny thing is he had to go Dwayne Wade’s team else to get back to the Finals. The only way it will ever be James’ team is when Wade says so, remember that. He couldn’t even stay in his own hometown. Delonte West had so much respect for him as a man first and a teammate second that he knocked his mom off.

RonGlover
June 1, 2011 2:02 pm

First line should read: I’m not trying to discredit him.

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
June 1, 2011 2:20 pm

Ron, no you meant it the first time, you are discrediting him. Your not aknowledging the fact that he gave 7 years to that organization, and his entire life to that city, he never quit on them he just made a smart decision to either stay in cleveland and continue to come close but never win or to go to the heat with wade and bosh, a once ina lifetime opportunity. If he didnt hed live to regret it for the rest of his life… I dont blame him i applaud him, (clap clap clap)

Obviously Lebron didnt need stars to get to the finals while in cleveland, bc he made it there by his play singlehandedly…

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
June 1, 2011 2:22 pm

Ron, your feelings are deep seeded, sounds like hatred… you may say you like lebron but your opinions say something else… now your flat out disrespecting the man and his mother ugh, your beyond words right now man… good ness

RonGlover
June 1, 2011 2:28 pm

Far from hatred my man, I don’t get a dime to worship these guys the way you do. And I really don’t care unless he’s wearing red, white and blue. So in the grand scheme of things unless he’s in Philly it means nothing to me.

Isn’t it time for you to update that list?

RonGlover
June 1, 2011 2:30 pm

Cleveland still belongs to Jim Brown.

Jon Hart
Jon Hart
June 1, 2011 2:45 pm

Cleveland hasnt belonged to Jim brown for some 40 years wtf are you talking about? Its not worship on my part its being a realist and not making EMOTIONAL decisions and criticism. Bottom line nothin more or less… There is a saying he who angers you controls you, The cleveland fan base hate what lebron did so they show that fustration by there comments and actions, he controls those people, yet theyd love to have him back there in a heart beat… so stop sounding like a hurt cavs fan and quit the hating its repulsive…

SportsBum
SportsBum
June 1, 2011 6:04 pm

LMAO at Jon Hart getting trashed in this thread. At least I now I know that I am not the only one that thinks you are a complete idiot that is blinded by your love for LeBron.

Also, LMAO at Westbrook being elite. LMAO, you are a stats guy and clearly don’t watch the games.