Dirk Nowitzki
Courtesy of USA Today Images

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar asserted that Dirk Nowitzki is a one-trick pony because of his one-legged fadeaway jumper, but the Dallas Mavericks power forward — shockingly — doesn’t agree with the criticism.

According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Nowitzki respects the Hall of Famer’s opinion but won’t get into a war of words with Abdul-Jabbar, who previously called Dirk a volume and streak shooter.

“I mean, it’s actually not the first time he said some stuff. I’m not sure why. I guess he’s not a big fan of my game, which is OK. But I like to think I was dominant at some point — especially on the offensive end — of my career, in my prime.”

Per MacMahon, Nowitzki acknowledged he was never the same on the same level as Abdul-Jabbar as a defender or rebounder.

But let’s be serious, literally fewer than a handful of NBA players ever have. Kareem grabbed the fourth-most boards in league history — or third if you don’t count Moses Malone’s ABA numbers.

Nowitzki isn’t a better play than Abdul-Jabbar, but the Mavericks legend is certainly more than a one-trick pony.

According to Basketball-Reference, Kareem is one of seven players in NBA history to average 25 points, nine rebounds, 2.5 assists and one block per game for at least two seasons. He accomplished that six times, which is a testament to his all-around skills. Dirk is also one of those seven.

Plus, Nowitzki is ranked in the top-100 with a career 38.3 three-point percentage and is one of 30 players to average 22 points during his NBA tenure. Overall, Dirk has the eighth-most points ever, and those 28,394 points haven’t come strictly from the fadeaway jumper.

Nowitzki wasn’t an all-around force, but he absolutely was once a well-rounded and dominant offensive player.

David Kenyon
Writer for Sportsnaut and Bleacher Report, mostly covering college football as well as the NFL, NBA and college basketball.