It's always nice to watch how the younger generation of NBA players pays respects and homage to those who came before them by replicating their moves and incorporating them as their own.
And if you want to become a successful modern big man in the league, you have to study Dirk Nowitzki's craft. He set the standard for what a stretch-big is.
Clearly, Joel Embiid has spent a lot of time watching Dirk's tape, as he's mimicked several of his moves, including his signature one-legged fadeaway shot.
Dirk recently said that he was actually honored by that, stating that he felt humbled by the fact that younger players think of it as a good move:
“That’s an honor,” Dirk said “Takeoff with John Clark” podcast, as quoted by Essentially Sports. “That’s so sweet to see that he thinks that that’s a good move and a shot that he can put in his repertoire, so it’s fun to see."
Nowitzki revealed that Embiid actually reached out to him to tell him that he was going to show him his version of the one-legged fadeaway. Needless to say, he delivered:
“When (the 76ers) actually played here in Dallas, I watched some of the game, and he texted me the day after and said, ‘I had to show respect to you and shoot it on your silhouette. You know, my silhouette is now on the Mavs’ floor, and so he said he had to shoot one for me. So that made me of course feel really good. I’m honored that he thinks it’s a good shot to have," Nowitzki added.
Skill-wise and talent-wise, Joel Embiid is perhaps the best all-around big man in the league. He's got the finesse and the footwork but he's also strong and physical down low. So, it's nice to see him try and get better by studying those who came before him.