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Vince Carter Once Explained How Dirk Nowitzki Made Defenses Pay: "You Look At It Like, 'Man, How Is He Getting Past People?' But You Have To Respect The Great Shooter... He Knew How To Get Buckets."

Vince Carter Once Explained How Dirk Nowitzki Made Defenses Pay: "You Look At It Like, 'Man, How Is He Getting Past People?' But You Have To Respect The Great Shooter... He Knew How To Get Buckets."

Two NBA superstars could not have been more different from one another than Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter were when they started their careers in the NBA. Carter was a high-flier, arguably the greatest dunker ever and as explosive as they come. Nowitzki was the opposite, slow but deliberate, technical, and arguably the greatest shooting big man of all time. 

The duo would have been unbelievably elite if they had gotten together during the early 2000s but NBA fans instead got to see them team up at a time when both were moving towards the end of their careers. Nowitzki had his detractors, including big names like Isiah Thomas, and even still has them despite his incredible NBA career, but Carter was as complimentary as they come about the Dallas Mavericks legend. 

Speaking ahead of Nowitzki's final home game for the Mavericks in 2019, Carter gave his take on what made Nowitzki such a lethal scorer, addressing the fact that it was sometimes hard to believe that the German was as dominant as he was during his time in the league (via CBS Sports). 

"You look at him, he's the slowest guy out there, but yet you can't stay in front of him. He knew who he was and how to be effective, man. I tell you, in his day, he was a force to be reckoned with as far as, like, you sit him, you post him up at that free throw line, and he's just a smart player. He knew how to make defenses pay. 

"You just look at it, like, 'man, how is he getting past people?' But you have to respect the great shooter that he is. He knew how to get buckets. Obviously, 31,000 points speaks for itself."

Carter and Nowitzki wouldn't win anything together in the 3 years that Vince was with the Mavericks, but it seemingly helped Carter develop a deep respect for Dirk. Nowitzki is the 6th highest scorer in the history of the NBA, and his legacy in the league will always be one of loyalty and excellence for the way he carried himself and led his Mavericks to an NBA title.