Dirk Nowitzki is ranked no higher than 26th in the NBA on ESPN’s top-100 players list. This is too low, and another example of Dirk being overlooked by the media.
When ranking players, I think it’s important to account for the situation they are in, along with their actual stats. While Bosh and Dirk had a similar season statistically last year, Dirk was recovering from knee surgery and was on a pretty bad team. Bosh had the benefit of finding open space on a team with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen, all of whom attract plenty of defensive attention.
Imagine what Dirk could do on a team like the Heat. He would be unstoppable with his mid-range jump shot and his threat to hit the open three-pointer.
It’s not just ESPN, though, and it’s not just about Bosh. Nowitzki is poised to prove many naysayers wrong this season, with a clean bill of health and what appears to be a much-improved roster surrounding him.
This year, Dirk will have Monta Ellis taking some heat off of him as a scorer, and he’ll have a point guard in Jose Calderon who can actually get him the ball effectively when he’s in position to score, something no guard on the roster achieved last season. At the end of the season, Dirk should have ESPN, along with anyone else who thinks he’s too old to be effective, eating their words.