Name: Dirk Nowitzki
Current Rating: 85
Complex Rating: 90
If you watched the regular season - like Visual Concepts apparently did - you just might have seen a player in decline, as Dirk averaged just 23 points and seven boards a game. But as we’ve seen throughout this list, hoops is about more than stats. It was a smarter, more efficient Dirk last season, shooting a career-best .517 from the field.
But in the playoffs, when it counted most, Nowitzki was unstoppable, dropping 27.7 a night and leading the Mavs to the NBA title. And that counts for plenty in our book, because really, the regular season is an 82-game waste of time, and when it mattered Nowitzki was a clutch leader who outdid the Miami Heat’s Not-So-Big Three. He shot it from outside, fought off double-teams and nailed big buckets throughout the playoffs.
So how, oh how, does he get shafted with the same rating as Manu, and Blake Griffin (a talent who isn’t quite there yet), and the eternally overrated Iguodala? How are Rudy Gay and Pau Gasol, guys who aren’t even top dogs on their own team, rated better than Dirk?
It makes no sense, and that’s why Dirk should get a nice little five-point bump - at least - so he joins the NBA’s finest players. After all, he’s one of the best, and now, he’s got the ring to prove it.