Dirk Nowitzki finished his career at least as one of the three greatest foreign players of all time in the NBA after a terrific career with the Dallas Mavericks, where he became one of the best players in his position. Now that he’s gone, some new European players can make good things in the association, including his former teammate Luka Doncic and the Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic.
Jokic has drawn comparisons with other bigs in the league, including Nowitzki, one of the best players of his generation and responsible for one of the greatest playoffs runs the league has seen in recent years. One would imagine Jokic feels proud to be compared to the German superstar, but in this case, Dirk feels the comparisons as a big compliment, too, as he recently told ESPN’s Zach Lowe.
“Damn. That’s a compliment. I wish I had his skill set. His passing is so good it’s a joke. I unfortunately always wanted to score and not pass,” Nowitzki said.
Jokic is now fighting to get his Nuggets past the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. Right now they are down 3-1 but somehow that doesn’t seem like a very bad result for them. They have already overcome two 3-1 deficits in their prior two series and a third one doesn’t sound crazy for them.
He’ll try to channel his inner Nowitzki and do as the German did in 2011, where he curiously beat a team led by LeBron James to win the NBA championship.