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View Full Version : How much would winning THIS particular title mean for Dirk's legacy?



Meloman
05-21-2011, 02:15 AM
Personally, when measuring someone's career, I don't just look at how many titles they won, I look at the value of those titles. I value titles based on the players around the star, and the level of competition the player faced. For an example, I value Hakeem's two titles in a Jordan-less era against two non stellar conference champs (Riley's Knicks and a too young Magic team lead by Shaq in his third year and Penny in his second) less than I'd value Isiah's two titles in a loaded league (beating team's like Magic's Lakers, Clyde's Blazers, an admittedly older and hobbled but still formidable Celtics group led by Larry Bird, and MJ's Bulls). Both had solid, championship level supporting cast, but neither was flanked with multiple stars. I'm not saying I think Isiah was a better player than Hakeem, but I'm saying I value his titles more.

What does this have to do with Dirk? Well if he wins this title, he'll be winning it in one of the most competitive years in recent NBA history. Aside from Dirk's Mavs, I can think of at least five teams that when healthy, could win a title in a normal year (LA, OKC, Chicago, Miami, Boston), and there were several other teams that may not have been title worthy, but were definitely very formidable (San Antonio, Memphis, Atlanta, Orlando, post 'Melo trade Nuggets).

In addition, of the five championship level teams I mentioned, four of them (Boston with 4, Miami with 3, LA with 2, OKC with 2) had multiple all stars, and the fifth has the league MVP and two guys who, given their level of play in the first half of the season when healthy, may very well have been all stars had they been on the court for the entire first half. In addition to that, LA had two other guys (Odom and Bynum) who were at least considered all star talents at some point in the season. Miami has a two time league MVP and a former finals MVP. OKC might have the best 3 through 9 in the league. If they don't, Chicago probably does. To win the title, Dirk will have gone through three of those five teams.

Dirk on the other hand, is playing with a group of solid role players, but nobody spectacular. There was all star buzz about Tyson Chandler, but let's be realistic, he isn't THAT good. Realistically, nobody on this Dallas team not named Dirk Nowitzki, given their current and not previous status, should be better than the 4th or 5th best player on a title team. To put this in perspective, after Dirk their second highest PER ranked player is Tyson Chandler, at #49 in the league, followed by Shawn Marion at #70 and Jason Terry at #102. I know it's an imperfect system, but it's one of the best ways we have of measuring players offensively. And as for defense, well, we've seen these guys play. Other than Tyson Chandler, I wouldn't call anyone on this team above average (don't get me wrong, Marion and Kidd were great in their day, but they're nothing special now). Yet here they are. 7 wins away from a title. We all expect them to come out of the west, and at the very least should put up a fight against the eastern conference champs, and honestly I have them winning the whole thing. We all stress the importance of role players, we've seen how not having them has affected Miami, and we've seen how having them has helped in the normal championship dynamic (think a team like Chicago, with one top tier star, three very good players, and four or five solid role players), but this is not how a title team is normally built.

If Dirk wins THIS title, in likely the most competitive year of the last decade, with a group of role players as his supporting cast, what would it mean for his legacy? I think the Larry Bird comparisons are a tad premature, but I think any other forward is fair game. I'd say we have to move him into the Duncan-Malone-Barkley power forward level. And to be honest, I don't think you could put any of those guys in their prime (with the one potential exception being '03 Tim Duncan) on this team and have them win the title. None of them could do it with better supporting casts. Don't give me the "MJ was in their way excuse" for Malone and Barkley. Barkley had a reasonable shot against MJ ('93), then two MJ-less years where he couldn't beat Hakeem, then a shot when teaming up with Hakeem and Drexler where, if they had even competent point guard play (Stockton ABUSED Matt Maloney), they would have had a shot at MJ's Bulls. Malone had Stockton, those same two MJ-less years, two shots at MJ (one of which were they couldn't beat him even with the flu), and a few shots after that. All three of those guys played on multiple teams that were better than the one Dirk is currently on, yet two of them never got a ring (despite several chances both with and without MJ in their way). If Dirk wins this title, with this team, in this league, and then goes on to finish out his career as we expect (two or three more elite years, maybe one or two more solid ones after that), I think he's at the very least on par with Barkley and Malone, and makes a reasonable argument for #2 PF of all time behind Duncan.

One other thing to note about his career, Dirk has had a total of four all star seasons from teammates. Two from Michael Finley, two from Steve Nash (and remember, this was pre hand check rules/seven seconds or less Nash, a very good player, but by no means elite), and both of these were before his prime. Malone had more than twice that from Stockton alone, I'm not sure of Barkley's exact numbers, but I know he had a few from KJ and Majerle, Hakeem, and a few from his philly days, and Duncan had Robinson early on, then Manu and Parker. This is obviously not a finite way of measuring someone's supporting cast, but it needs to be noted. My point here, is that I believe had Dirk had a true sidekick (or sidekicks), he would have at least one title, possibly multiple, by this point. If Mark Cuban didn't decide he'd rather pay Erick Dampier $73,000,000 than Steve Nash $60,000,000 (which btw, is one of the most curious front office decisions in NBA history), I think he has at least two rings by now. Dirk always had the role players, but never the true sidekicks. Aside from perhaps Dwyane Wade in '06 (although it's debatable, I'm not sure I'd call Shaq a legitimate sidekick at that point), I don't think any team has ever won a title with a worse #2 player than Dallas would this year (Jason Terry? Kidd? Chandler? Does the fact that we don't even know mean something here?). I think it's time we truly celebrate Dirk's individual greatness, and I can think of very few titles that would be more valuable to an individual player than this one would be to Dirk.

Side note: I am by no means trying to discount what Hakeem did, he is one of the best players ever, I just value his rings less than others, and I don't think he was good enough to be used as an excuse for other players not winning titles. In other words, "Hakeem was in their way" isn't a valid excuse to me for Barkley and Malone not having titles, and I would feel the same way about the others if one of those guys won the titles and Hakeem didn't. A great player, perhaps top 10 of all time, but given the nature of the league at the time I just can't value his titles as much as I do others.

GoatMilk
05-21-2011, 02:22 AM
he has a great legacy regardless

Lake_Show2416
05-21-2011, 02:28 AM
The soft bull that people tag euros wit would be dropped but he needs that title, no 1 wants to be that great player without a ring

iliketurtles24
05-21-2011, 02:35 AM
wow nice post , hes a beast and i hope he gets his ring

hotpotato1092
05-21-2011, 02:43 AM
Top 3 white (meaning skinned, not ethnicity) player of all time with Bird and West

Top euro player of all time

Top two foreign players of all time (along with Hakeem, I don't count Duncan virgin islands are really america)

Top six PF's of all time (along with Duncan, Malone, Mchale, Barkley and Garnett, in no particular order)

Top 25 players of all time, potentially could move even higher up that list, maybe even top 10.

NYtilIdie
05-21-2011, 02:48 AM
If he won the title this year it would mean the most if he won it any time after this year because he's been playing the best basketball i've ever seen from him, its easily IMO better than his MVP year.

You can just see the hunger in him for that championship, the way he just took over in the 4th last night was incrediable, if others hit shots they could've won.

Hellcrooner
05-21-2011, 07:07 AM
titles are titles.

it would prove he can lead a DEEP LIKE HELL PISTONS 04 like team to a title instead of being someone that NEEDS to come down of the cloud and be the second option to win a title ( something Chuk or Karl never understood until it was too late).

Thats his task.

Go Okc!!!!

Chronz
05-21-2011, 08:13 AM
Yea if Dirk wins the title this year, it would be the most impressive title of recent memory. But your wrong about Isiah being flanked by Hakeem caliber teammates. You may value his title more if you wish but its not because the 2 carried similar talent bases.

m26555
05-21-2011, 09:50 AM
Top 3 white (meaning skinned, not ethnicity) player of all time with Bird and West

Top euro player of all time

Top two foreign players of all time (along with Hakeem, I don't count Duncan virgin islands are really america)

Top six PF's of all time (along with Duncan, Malone, Mchale, Barkley and Garnett, in no particular order)

Top 25 players of all time, potentially could move even higher up that list, maybe even top 10.
No. I like Dirk, but no.

gsgs49
05-21-2011, 10:42 AM
Off topic: What are you smoking? Hakeem's championship in 1994 is arguably the most impressive championship in the last 20 years and much more impressive than Isiah two championships.
The competition wasn't great but his cast was one of the worst championship casts.
Otis Thorpe
Vernon Maxwell
Kenny Smith
Chris Jent
Robert Horry
Mario Elie
Sam Cassell
Scott Brooks
Carl Herrera
Larry Robinson
Matt Bullard
Richard Petruska
Earl Cureton
Eric Riley
Nobody other than Hakeem averaged more than 14 points per game.This team has only one all star(Hakeem).
In the last 25-30 years only the spurs in 2003 won a championship with one all star on the roster.


Isiah had more than great cast in his two championships years.
Joe Dumars,Bill Laimbeer,Dennis Rodman,Mark Aguirre,Adrian Dantley(for a part of the 88-89 season) and others.
For example,in 1989 Isiah was the 6th in WS/48 on his OWN TEAM and 3rd in PER.
Even in 89 playoffs,he was the 7th in WS/48 on his own team.
So I don't give Isiah any credit for those two championships,I give the pistons as a team the credit.


On topic: Yeah Dirk winning a championship this season will be even more impressive than Hakeem in 1994,he has a better cast than Hakeem but there is much more competition this year than 94.Dallas would be the first jumpshooting team to win a championship.
That would be their road to the championship:
1st round: a dangerous Portland team,which a lot of teams tried to avoid in the playoffs.
2nd round: 2 time defending champions.
WCF: a young Thunder team with two top 15 players.
Finals: one of the best defensive teams in the last decade with the league MVP
OR a heat team with two top 3 players and an all star power forward.

If Dallas wins the championship this year,that would put Dirk in the top 30 players all time and he still playing at a high level so he has a chance to crack the top 20 when his career is over.

Hellcrooner
05-21-2011, 11:40 AM
people thinking there was no competition in 94 are utterly and completely delusional, or too young to Know better.

gsgs49
05-21-2011, 11:49 AM
people thinking there was no competition in 94 are utterly and completely delusional, or too young to Know better.

Nobody said there was no competition in 1994 but the competition in the late 80's early 90's was better and there is also better competition this year,it's pretty obvious.

Hellcrooner
05-21-2011, 11:51 AM
Nobody said there was no competition in 1994 but the competition in the late 80's early 90's was better and there is also better competition this year,it's pretty obvious.

94 sonics-Suns-jazz-rockets-blazers-knicks-bulls(yes even withouth that guy)-magic could win the ring this year.

NYKalltheway
05-21-2011, 11:59 AM
94 sonics-Suns-jazz-rockets-blazers-knicks-bulls(yes even withouth that guy)-magic could win the ring this year.

those were the days

gsgs49
05-21-2011, 12:18 PM
94 sonics-Suns-jazz-rockets-blazers-knicks-bulls(yes even withouth that guy)-magic could win the ring this year.

Nope.
Forget about the 90's,let's talk about the last decade,which year we had more contenders than this year?
Maybe in the western conference from 02 to 04 with the lakers,spurs,mavs and kings but the eastern conference was a joke,this is easily the best eastern conference since 1998.And overall,this is the most competitive year in the last 10-12 years.

theheatles
05-21-2011, 01:22 PM
94 sonics-Suns-jazz-rockets-blazers-knicks-bulls(yes even withouth that guy)-magic could win the ring this year.

nostalgia is a b@#$%, the nba, along with all sports are better now than ever before, even though nostalgia will tell you otherwise

Hellcrooner
05-21-2011, 02:55 PM
nostalgia is a b@#$%, the nba, along with all sports are better now than ever before, even though nostalgia will tell you otherwise

is not nostalgia.

is maths

less teams = more stacked teams.= less diluted pool for talent.

GREATNESS ONE
05-21-2011, 03:03 PM
He needs this Badly. This is the best chance he'll get for a title and he looks hungry enough to win it.

Chronz
05-21-2011, 03:36 PM
is not nostalgia.

is maths

less teams = more stacked teams.= less diluted pool for talent.

Except in the mid nineties you had rapid expansion without the talent pool. Now with time and the global evolution of the sport, there is no dilution. The league is stronger than it has been in quite some time.

KnicksorBust
05-21-2011, 04:13 PM
Personally, when measuring someone's career, I don't just look at how many titles they won, I look at the value of those titles. I value titles based on the players around the star, and the level of competition the player faced. For an example, I value Hakeem's two titles in a Jordan-less era against two non stellar conference champs (Riley's Knicks and a too young Magic team lead by Shaq in his third year and Penny in his second) less than I'd value Isiah's two titles in a loaded league (beating team's like Magic's Lakers, Clyde's Blazers, an admittedly older and hobbled but still formidable Celtics group led by Larry Bird, and MJ's Bulls). Both had solid, championship level supporting cast, but neither was flanked with multiple stars. I'm not saying I think Isiah was a better player than Hakeem, but I'm saying I value his titles more.

What does this have to do with Dirk? Well if he wins this title, he'll be winning it in one of the most competitive years in recent NBA history. Aside from Dirk's Mavs, I can think of at least five teams that when healthy, could win a title in a normal year (LA, OKC, Chicago, Miami, Boston), and there were several other teams that may not have been title worthy, but were definitely very formidable (San Antonio, Memphis, Atlanta, Orlando, post 'Melo trade Nuggets).

In addition, of the five championship level teams I mentioned, four of them (Boston with 4, Miami with 3, LA with 2, OKC with 2) had multiple all stars, and the fifth has the league MVP and two guys who, given their level of play in the first half of the season when healthy, may very well have been all stars had they been on the court for the entire first half. In addition to that, LA had two other guys (Odom and Bynum) who were at least considered all star talents at some point in the season. Miami has a two time league MVP and a former finals MVP. OKC might have the best 3 through 9 in the league. If they don't, Chicago probably does. To win the title, Dirk will have gone through three of those five teams.

Dirk on the other hand, is playing with a group of solid role players, but nobody spectacular. There was all star buzz about Tyson Chandler, but let's be realistic, he isn't THAT good. Realistically, nobody on this Dallas team not named Dirk Nowitzki, given their current and not previous status, should be better than the 4th or 5th best player on a title team. To put this in perspective, after Dirk their second highest PER ranked player is Tyson Chandler, at #49 in the league, followed by Shawn Marion at #70 and Jason Terry at #102. I know it's an imperfect system, but it's one of the best ways we have of measuring players offensively. And as for defense, well, we've seen these guys play. Other than Tyson Chandler, I wouldn't call anyone on this team above average (don't get me wrong, Marion and Kidd were great in their day, but they're nothing special now). Yet here they are. 7 wins away from a title. We all expect them to come out of the west, and at the very least should put up a fight against the eastern conference champs, and honestly I have them winning the whole thing. We all stress the importance of role players, we've seen how not having them has affected Miami, and we've seen how having them has helped in the normal championship dynamic (think a team like Chicago, with one top tier star, three very good players, and four or five solid role players), but this is not how a title team is normally built.

If Dirk wins THIS title, in likely the most competitive year of the last decade, with a group of role players as his supporting cast, what would it mean for his legacy? I think the Larry Bird comparisons are a tad premature, but I think any other forward is fair game. I'd say we have to move him into the Duncan-Malone-Barkley power forward level. And to be honest, I don't think you could put any of those guys in their prime (with the one potential exception being '03 Tim Duncan) on this team and have them win the title. None of them could do it with better supporting casts. Don't give me the "MJ was in their way excuse" for Malone and Barkley. Barkley had a reasonable shot against MJ ('93), then two MJ-less years where he couldn't beat Hakeem, then a shot when teaming up with Hakeem and Drexler where, if they had even competent point guard play (Stockton ABUSED Matt Maloney), they would have had a shot at MJ's Bulls. Malone had Stockton, those same two MJ-less years, two shots at MJ (one of which were they couldn't beat him even with the flu), and a few shots after that. All three of those guys played on multiple teams that were better than the one Dirk is currently on, yet two of them never got a ring (despite several chances both with and without MJ in their way). If Dirk wins this title, with this team, in this league, and then goes on to finish out his career as we expect (two or three more elite years, maybe one or two more solid ones after that), I think he's at the very least on par with Barkley and Malone, and makes a reasonable argument for #2 PF of all time behind Duncan.

One other thing to note about his career, Dirk has had a total of four all star seasons from teammates. Two from Michael Finley, two from Steve Nash (and remember, this was pre hand check rules/seven seconds or less Nash, a very good player, but by no means elite), and both of these were before his prime. Malone had more than twice that from Stockton alone, I'm not sure of Barkley's exact numbers, but I know he had a few from KJ and Majerle, Hakeem, and a few from his philly days, and Duncan had Robinson early on, then Manu and Parker. This is obviously not a finite way of measuring someone's supporting cast, but it needs to be noted. My point here, is that I believe had Dirk had a true sidekick (or sidekicks), he would have at least one title, possibly multiple, by this point. If Mark Cuban didn't decide he'd rather pay Erick Dampier $73,000,000 than Steve Nash $60,000,000 (which btw, is one of the most curious front office decisions in NBA history), I think he has at least two rings by now. Dirk always had the role players, but never the true sidekicks. Aside from perhaps Dwyane Wade in '06 (although it's debatable, I'm not sure I'd call Shaq a legitimate sidekick at that point), I don't think any team has ever won a title with a worse #2 player than Dallas would this year (Jason Terry? Kidd? Chandler? Does the fact that we don't even know mean something here?). I think it's time we truly celebrate Dirk's individual greatness, and I can think of very few titles that would be more valuable to an individual player than this one would be to Dirk.

Side note: I am by no means trying to discount what Hakeem did, he is one of the best players ever, I just value his rings less than others, and I don't think he was good enough to be used as an excuse for other players not winning titles. In other words, "Hakeem was in their way" isn't a valid excuse to me for Barkley and Malone not having titles, and I would feel the same way about the others if one of those guys won the titles and Hakeem didn't. A great player, perhaps top 10 of all time, but given the nature of the league at the time I just can't value his titles as much as I do others.

How do you know this Chicago team is a Title team? How can you call teams like Atlanta, Orlando, and the Nuggets formidable? Also what do those teams have to do with the Mavericks? You've taken too many leaps of faith. The Mavericks did one supremely impressive things, sweep the Lakers. That's it. 1 win into the WCF we already have to define the value of a ring for Dirk's legacy despite the overwhelming evidence that he won't get it and this title run will fall short like all the others. We're so impressed with a 24 free throw game that everyone is rushing to annoint him a top 3 this and a top 15 that. He's had a nice career and is supremely effecient but he just does not have the teammates to complete this run.

Bruno
05-21-2011, 04:41 PM
Except in the mid nineties you had rapid expansion without the talent pool. Now with time and the global evolution of the sport, there is no dilution. The league is stronger than it has been in quite some time.

x2.

Wrigheyes4MVP
05-21-2011, 04:51 PM
he has a great legacy regardless

Yes, but at the same time, no one can deny that if he wins a title it will be huge for him.

He could be considered a top 20 player, if he can prove that winning a championship is in his repertoire.

No one can deny this.

He is a great player no matter what, but winning a title would make him a legend in this game.

Wrigheyes4MVP
05-21-2011, 05:01 PM
Nope.
Forget about the 90's,let's talk about the last decade,which year we had more contenders than this year?
Maybe in the western conference from 02 to 04 with the lakers,spurs,mavs and kings but the eastern conference was a joke,this is easily the best eastern conference since 1998.And overall,this is the most competitive year in the last 10-12 years.

The Wild, Wild West.

The West was sooooo good, but the East was horrible.

I remember the T-wolves were decent too when they had cassel and sprewell.

The West was awesome.

Anyway, I do agree that the league is as deep with talent as it ever has been this season.

Ty Fast
05-21-2011, 05:16 PM
what about kobes titles? they never really beat anybody that good other than boston. paceres, sixers, nets, and magic.

gsgs49
05-21-2011, 05:24 PM
The Wild, Wild West.

The West was sooooo good, but the East was horrible.

I remember the T-wolves were decent too when they had cassel and sprewell.

The West was awesome.

Anyway, I do agree that the league is as deep with talent as it ever has been this season.

yeah but the timberwolves were real contenders for one year only(2004).
They were pretenders before it and they sucked after it.
And don't forget 8 teams with 50+ wins in 2008 and 2010.
I think it's safe to say that the western conference in 2000's is better than any conference in any decade.

TylerSL
05-21-2011, 05:26 PM
obviously I am rooting for the Heat to win it all, but I hope Dirk gets his ring before he is done. He really deserves one, IMO he is top 20 all time, and already deserves his jersey retired and is a definate HOFer. Nash really deserves a ring as well.

Lake_Show2416
05-21-2011, 05:29 PM
what about kobes titles? they never really beat anybody that good other than boston. paceres, sixers, nets, and magic.

how about going thru the Spurs & Kings year after year to get those 5 titles?

i'll give you the Magic tho ha