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After Dirk Nowitzki's big-time Game 1 in the Western Conference Finals, it got me thinking about his place in NBA history.  He's always been a high level player, won an MVP in 2007 and took his team to the Finals in 2006 (where along the way they had to knock off a tough defending champ in San Antonio in 7 games before getting beaten by the Heat screwed by the refs).

If he winds up leading the Mavericks to an NBA Championship this year, does he surpass KG as a better all-time player? Both players were consistently knocked about their playoff failures for the majority of their early careers.  Both players won an MVP (KG in 2004).  KG won his title by teaming in Boston with other legit players, making the Celtics the best team he ever played for.  His best Timberwolves bunch was with Sprewell and Cassell in 2004.  But that team also started Trenton Hassell at the small forward.

As for Dirk, who has he really ever had?  He had Nash prior to his MVP seasons in Phoenix.  He had Findog, who could ball and was definitely an all-star level player in his prime.  He has an over-the-hill Jason Kidd now.  The 2006 team, he didn't have a clear-cut second best player (Jason Terry or Josh Howard?).

I'm sure to take a lot of crap for this but if Dirk leads the Mavericks to the championship this year, I say his career trumps KG's.  It means he had 2 Finals Appearance and 1 Title as being the alpha dog and leading a team.  KG wasn't the clear alpha-dog on the 2008 Celtics.  However if Dallas falls short again, and both of their careers continue down the same path, I'm probably keeping KG a touch above Dirk.  What's your take? 


tb727 5/18/2011 11:08:00 PM Edit
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30 Responses so far.

  1. QD says:

    KG beasted at both ends of the floor... nothing else to be said. IMHO!!! And my opinion means a lot. =^)

  2. QD says:

    But I still like Dirky.

  3. JR says:

    I voted no. I think if he wins the title this yr then they're about equal. I won't mention that if Danny kept TA and Perk then KG would be getting his 2nd while Dirk would have zero. Not mentioning that. ;)

    Miamii I fear is winning this title. And a bunch more. Unless another super team is formed. If I were the Celtics ownership I'd buy the house right next to Dwight Howard's and have Rajon Rondo move i. Rondo needs a new best friend on the team. lol.

  4. JR says:

    I loved QD's "and my opinion means a lot." Classic.

  5. Anonymous says:

    KG anytime mayne!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Nothing against Dirk, but..."Dirk won't ever touch KG's greatness" -- homer-ism at its finest! But it's true!!!

  7. QD says:

    Lol, JR. It does, and I voted he wont ever touch KG's GREATNESS!

  8. Dirk and KG are literally polar opposites.

  9. Imran says:

    Who would you rather have? I'd take KG so I've got to go with him!

  10. shelbyl says:

    They're both grat players, but I'd say "apples and oranges."

    Dirk's legacy is "fade away one-foot hop and pop." KG's legacy is "come and taste my defense".

    I mean, yes, they're comparable. But in a Kobe-Jordan way, definitely not.

  11. Anonymous says:

    You have to play both ends of the floor I believe to be an all time great...KG did great on both ends of the floor most of his career.

  12. Avenue says:

    KG plays defense guards damn near every position of the floor mvp and won a defensive player of the yr award and a better rebounder dirk is a GREAT player but no one even now with all his playoff greatness fears him , hes known as soft and not the leader of his team, honestly all he can do is score and he doesnt post up nearly as much as he should for his size he should be averaging 40 a game easily every yr, chandler is the clear cut leader of the mavs now and brings them toughness when i take in all those aspects i have to go with KG

  13. Anonymous says:

    for the sake of the argument, ignore the salary cap and ask yourself: would ainge trade KG for Dirk? there is your answer.

  14. speckles says:

    would Cuban trade Dirk for KG? there's my answer!

  15. Anonymous says:

    How come when people never mention the defensive side of the game when talking about great players? Last time i checked basketball is a two ways sport, that's the reason in my book Scottie Pippen is ranked higher than guys like Barkley, Malone and more. Pip played both sides of the game, not just the offensive side. As for the question above? Until Dirk plays some D, and win defensive player of the year KG will always be above him.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Dirk will always be better than Garnett.

  17. .chuckT. says:

    They are both GREAT offensive players. Two of the best shooting big men the game has ever seen.
    KG is FAR better on the defensive end (obviously). Dirk is not a defensive minded player by any means.

    KG:
    -08 Champ
    -04 MVP
    -08 DPY
    -14x All Star

    Dirk:
    -07 MVP
    -10x All Star
    -06 3pt Contest Champ...lol

    Both are sure Hall of Famers - KG is the better All Time player.

  18. Jacob says:

    KG is better defensively, but is not a go-to scorer and chokes in the clutch. As much as I like him, there is a reason he couldn't lead the Timberwolves anywhere in the playoffs. Dirk comes up big when the game is on his shoulders.

  19. Dave says:

    ALright, first I want to dispell any speculation that Dirk is soft or that his toughness should be questioned. He got his teeth knocked out and finishes the game leading all scorers, the most games he's missed due to injury is 9 which was this year due to a sprained knee, he's played with sprained ankles, rolled ankles, and a busted hand. In my book, that's pretty tough.

    You can't compare Dirk's game to anyone else's, he's the very best at what he does, which is shoot. Name a 7 footer with a 40 percent lifetime 3pt shooting percentage, yeah you can't. Name a 7 footer that has a lifetime 90 percent lifetime FT shooting percentage, good luck. Name a 7 footer that possesses the same skill set as Dirk, not going to happen. He is one of the most unique players in the NBA's history. KG is a retread of so many other great power forwards.

  20. Avenue says:

    But when it comes to leading his team to greatness he has failed ^^ only thing you seem to be impressed by is his ability to shoot and score which makes him a one trick pony he has no leader attributes and has has plenty of opportunities to shine in the limelight and has failed....and dont tell me dirk would have led those timberwolves teams to championships cus his mavs teams have been 10 times better than any team kg had in minnesota and if you disagree with that then you just dont know basketball or have a man crush on dirk he doesnt rebound he doesnt block shots or even make a defensive presence in the paint for being 7 foot all he can do is score

  21. DrKool says:

    A 7 footer is supposed to get a lot of rebounds and a lot of blocks and should be a defensive force, to help his team winning titles. Ask Bill Russell.
    When it comes to who is the best all time.
    It's not about the owner trading them.
    KG has been 3 times iver 13 rebounds a game.
    Dirk never had a season with more then 10 rebounds.
    On defense KG is a here scaring the other team and leading his own team.
    Dirk is soft as hell and only leads his team in scoring.
    The fact that KG actually plays defense and knows about winning and being the emotional leader of a team makes him untouchable.
    Only Tim Duncan can be in a discussion with KG, to who is the best PF.

  22. Celtics18 says:

    Fact is, Dirk had superior teammates for most of his career than KG, Cuban always brought good pieces to build around Dirk. But they always came short, On of the other hand KG had to carry small market franchise with subpar players for most of his career and did pretty well. Offensively Nowitzki is better but Defensively KG is better, However Offensive gap isn't big because KG was a athletic monster in his prime who could drive, finish with authority, has good mid range and post up moves but on Defensive End KG outclasses Dirk by big margin, KG was better rebounder, average more steals, blocks and his individual defense and help defense is Hall of Fame level.

    KG: MVP, DPOTY, 1 title.
    DN: MVP

    KG is better.

  23. Anonymous says:

    KG is better than Dirk (not at the current moment obviously), but throughout the course of their careers, because as many others have said, what he has given on the other end of the court. Dirk is WAY better offensively, which makes them pretty close, but overall KG is slightly better. That being said, neither of them can even sniff Duncan. Duncan is arguably the best post-Jordan era player, yes arguably better than KB24.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Is this a joke? KG is a 9-time All-Defensive First Team, 14-time All-Star, Defensive Player of the Year, MVP and a Champion. KG was great on both ends of the floor and is one of the best all-around players in NBA History.

  25. Anonymous says:

    dirk has DESTROYED kg every time they matched up in the regular season OR playoffs.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Why is every1 acting líos garner dont have a good medal also along With bis other accomplishment

  27. Thats the Truth, Ruth! says:

    Dirk clinched it last night- he's now lead 2 TEAMS to the Finals, something KG could never do until he joined other Top 50 players. In 2006 Dirk's best teammate was Josh Howard. This year it's Jason Terry. Marion and Peja and Kidd WERE good, but they're running on fumes.

    Dirk>>>>better all time than KG. And that's the truth Ruth!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Alright people have talked about offensive and defensive numbers. To affect a basketball game at that level you dont have to have an amazing box score(though it helps). What always has to be there is passion and determination. KG has more passion for the game itself than anyone i can think of. He was a great defensive player and a better than average offensive player but what sets them apart is the energy that his teammates feed off of in big moments. When he steps on the floor and is screaming and yelling and hitting his chest he gets his team energized which then causes them to be the best they can be. There is your argument. Who makes a bigger impact without having to be involved in a particular play. Kevin Garnett.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Dirk is NOW better than KG. He wasn't before, and KG's 2004 MVP season was better than any season Dirk had. But right now I have Dirk as the 26th best player of all time, and KG is 27th

  30. ThomasJ says:

    It's pretty simple. Dirk is the superior shooter, an all-time great in that part of the game and the best shooting 7 footer ever.

    Now name one other facet of the game that Dirk even equals KG. Not defense, rebounding or passing.

    Unless shooting is your only measure of a basketball player, you can't rate Dirk ahead of KG all-time.

    The fact that Dirk has been to the finals twice and KG once is more about Mark Cuban than anything. No way he sits back like Glen Taylor did in Minnesota letting McHale make horrible move after horrible move failing to build a decent team around KG.

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