Yeah and I'm sure a guy like Magic and Barkley are still getting ranked higher even though they aren't good/great on defense either. The point should be about impact. Bill Russell doesn't rank lower than Top 10, even though his main criticism is offense.
Well first, you're bringing up players who in my opinion all had much, much greater impact than Dirk did and are much, much better players than Dirk. Like I said, #1 criteria is peak/prime, who was the best when they were at their best. So why you mentioned this is alittle puzzling. Second, I think Magic and Barkley were better defenders at their position than Dirk was at his. Barkley, while definitely not being a good defender, is an underrated defender, he's not nearly as bad as people make him out to be. Russell wasn't a bad offensive player by any means, he just wasn't amazing so that point missed me too.
Dirk is arguably the worst defensive player in the Top 50. That was my point and it's something he gets a pass for while other players get trashed for it endlessly.
]I appreciate the thoughtful response. It's your opinion on that list and I'll respect, even though I don't see eye to eye about some of them (it happens).
Same, I appreciate your responses as well, much better than the rest which were just "OMG, you think Dirk isn't Top 20, you moron" etc. It's nice to actually have someone make an effort to have a conversation and not completely ignore what you say and just dismiss it as stupid. I'm finding that very rare on the internet recently. Just based on this debate alone you have become one of my favorite posters on this site... and we don't even agree, lol.
I disagree here. Dirk has a very polished offensive player to me. He can post up, hit the mid-range jumper, hit the 3, etc... He's just more jump shooter oriented, but that doesn't mean he has one dimension. I actually would apply that to Amare.
I meant one dimensional as a player overall, just a scorer, not one dimensional as a scorer.
Yeah, I don't see too much of an argument there... but then again, he steps up in the playoffs with his rebounding to 10+. That's got be respected.
Definitely a fair point, I can agree with that.
Amare's actually goes lower in the playoffs and Boozer ? 10 a game in the RS and 12 a game in the playoffs... Sometimes, popular perception is misleading. I don't think Dirk's been "terrible" for most of his career, but get your point.
The second line of that was about defense. Never mentioned Boozer as a rebounder. It was Boozer and Amare are considered two of the worst defensive PF's in the NBA, yet Dirk has been just as bad as both his whole career. They are blasted time and time again for being horrendous defenders while Dirk is given much more of a pass for his defense in comparison despite being just as bad.
Yeah, starting 2001. But guess what ? That's when Dirk started to be the franchise guy. The Mavericks missed the playoffs for 10 years in a row. Sure, the Mavs had talent, but nothing mind blowing. They sometimes didn't have the correct talent to win titles. Sometimes it was too much offense and no defense (2002-2004 Mavs). Sure, Cuban put a lot of investment into the Mavs (though, let's not overrate it), but Dirk also showcased he was a legit superstar.
While I wouldn't call the Mavericks talent mind blowing, again, since 2000 the Mavs have had one of the most talented teams every year and one of the deepest teams every year. I feel there are a couple other PF's in the NBA that could have won alot with that type of talent around them. Pau Gasol for example would have won alot more in his career had he been surrounded by the kind of talent Dallas has put together over the years. *Calm down everyone, I'm not saying Gasol was better than Dirk, I think Dirk is better* (though probably not by nearly as much as other people do).
Which years are you talking about ?
And check the numbers above, most of the time, they were losing to the favourites and Dirk, for the most part, played great in the elimination games. Infact, they've overachieved more.
I do not believe the Mavericks have overachieved very many times, again, always one of the Top 5 teams talent and depth wise pretty much every year. That's not overachieving to me.
Again, which years ?
I'll have to get back to you on that when I have time to look it up and compare the other best teams from those years, I don't remember exactly what years off the top of my head but I do remember thinking they had the most talented team top to bottom in the NBA a couple times, at the very least they have had the deepest team in the NBA a few times.
That point was not about other players in the Top 20. It was me stating that if he truly is Top 20 like people claim then those rosters are even better than I thought they were because I've never considered him a Top 20 All-Time player and I still do not consider him to be a Top 20 player. Him being a Top 30 player makes those teams less talented than if he is a Top 20 player. That was my point.
Players that I have in my arbitrary Top 20, include Moses Malone and Julius Erving, who were both on the stacked 83 Sixers (no Dirk team compares to that team)... infact, Erving had many talented rosters, arguably the most talented around he late 70s, early 80s...
Again, wasn't comparing him to other Top 20 players in that way. Those players are simply better players than Dirk ever was in my opinion, so who they had around them becomes moot. I go by best overall player first and foremost.
Kevin Garnett ? 2008 Celtics and has been on very talented Celtics rosters since that team as well.
Yet another player that I feel is definitely a better overall player than Dirk. But this one I'll go into alittle bit since they are in the same era.
Dirk played on, at minimum, 5 teams that had better supporting casts than Garnett's best Minnesota team in 2004 (during the time frame KG was on MIN, not during the Boston years obviously). Just think about how long Dirk got to play with Nash and Finley compared to how many years KG got to play with the similar duo of Sprewell and Cassell. Every other year the best player on the team outside of KG was Wally Szczerbiak. Dirk also had one season where he played with Antawn Jamison and Antoine Walker in their primes along with Nash/Finley still on the team. The minute KG had a great roster around him he won a Championship and has had tons of Playoff success since being on that team. He was the best player on the Celtics during that Championship season as well (arguably his entire time with Boston if you consider how important his defense is to that teams success). If Garnett had played his Minnesota years with the type of talent that Dirk had in Dallas during the same period, he would be even further up the list of All-Time greats because he would have undoubtedly had more Playoff appearances and Playoff success than he did in Minny, and debatably another Championship or two (considering those Dallas teams weakness was defense and he was capable of transforming an entire defense by himself).
Charles Barkley ? 93-95 Suns were also very talented, arguably most talented during that span.
LeBron James ? 2011 team was arguably the most talented, some argue were... There have been others (yourself as well) who have the likes of Isiah Thomas, Scottie Pippen, John Havlieck, Elgin Baylor, Patrick Ewing, Kevin McHale, etc... all those guys played with far superior help than Dirk.
Again, all players that are better players overall in my opinion and my point about the Top 20 wasn't about supporting cast, just that if Dirk really is a Top 20 player then those Mavs are better than even I thought they were.
But why does Dirk have to be penalized for having talented rosters ? Besides, I don't even know which years are in discussion for him having the most loaded rosters.
Not necessarily penalizing him for having talented rosters as much as I am pointing out that his success has a great deal to do with the talent around him and that I feel it's just as important to the Mavericks success as he was, where as other Superstars have been more important to their teams success . As I said, I feel he is the superstar of role players, he doesn't do much else well besides score so he fits into the roster more so than he carries the roster. Don't take my calling him the best role player ever toooo literally, I think he's an All-Star level player but he's never had the overall impact of a true Superstar in my opinion. His role is to score and he does it on an All-Time great level but his total impact on the game is lacking in every other area which makes him less impactful overall and is too easily dismissed because his teams have won (while being Top 5 teams talent wise most years).
Which coach ?
If it's Nelson or Johnson, I could care less. Neither of them have won rings as coaches to tell me otherwise about leadership.
It was Avery Johnson. Now, admittedly he's not the greatest Coach but let's not forget he was also an NBA player who was widely known as being a leader on/off the court. Particularly being one of the leaders on the 1999 Spurs Championship team, so I would take his opinion pretty seriously especially considering he said it openly in public (he was trying to motivate Dirk into becoming a better leader), that's pretty damning no matter what you think of Avery has a Coach IMO.
The numbers back it up for the majority of (you can't be "clutch" or play very well all the time) his games and being "un-clutch" depends also on not just Dirk but the rest of his teammates.
Being clutch is two things, yes, stepping up in big games is part of it but the last 5 minutes of close games is also part of it. Dirk was decidedly un-clutch for most of his career in terms of taking over in close games, something most of the players I list ahead of him did very well. Jason Terry might not have always been the best Playoff performer overall but he was the Mavs closer in the Playoffs tons of times, he was usually the one to take the big shots, whether he missed or not and he did make quite a few. He honestly has been just as good as Dirk in the last 5 minutes of close games in the Playoffs overall during his time with the Mavs.
They didn't do a "great" job in the past the, which is what I mentioned before... they had a sometimes very unbalanced teams before.
Here is my answer to the unbalanced teams point, could it be that those teams were so unbalanced because Dirk was the worst or 2nd worst defensive starter on the team every year? Nash was worse during those years but every other year he was the worst defensive starter on the team (there might be a year or two I'm missing where there was someone worse but I doubt it) and one of the worst defensive players on the team. That teams lack of defense should fall on his shoulders as much as anyone. Which is why I rank players that have put up comparable scoring numbers (at least 20 PPG) higher on my All-Time list, because they were all much, much better defensive players.
And here's where I feel people overrate that 2011 Mavericks team.
They weren't "extremely" deep:
What screams out "extremely deep" ? Not as an all-around offensive and defensive team.
Infact, I've stated that this team was carried for the most part by Dirk and only a few other players have done with less.
This is one I can tell we are going to end up agreeing to disagree on. That team was definitely deep and very underrated. He did not carry that team, he has never carried a team. You can not carry a team when you are basically a liability on one end of the floor and only good at one thing. That's not carrying a team, I'm sorry. Players that carry teams are the best player on the team on both ends of the floor. He carried alot of the offensive load (not all of it but admittedly alot of it) but they carried him defensively. The Mavericks supporting players have always had to carry him on the defensive end of the floor because he's always one of the worst defensive players on the team.
Dirk, Chandler, Marion, Kidd, Terry, Haywood, Barea, Stevenson, Stojakovic that's a 9 player rotation. Most teams don't use that many players consistently in the Playoffs, they also had Cardinal and Brewer play spot minutes and play well in those minutes, Brewer defensively and Cardinal as a hustle player (Cardinal actually had a pretty big impact in one Finals game during a 5 or 10 minute stretch where he took some charges, forced some turnovers, grabbed a couple rebounds.) Not saying Brewer or Cardinal were big parts of the team but they played their little role well when they were called upon.
Now, Dirk carried alot of the offensive load but they still had 7 players averaged at least 7 PPG in the Playoffs, 6 of them above 8 PPG. The only thing that team was missing from being pretty stacked was a legit #2 scorer (Caron Butler was supposed to play that role but he got hurt and has never been the same since). But they had a Defensive Player of the Year type anchor in Chandler, two of the best perimeter defenders in the League in Marion and Stevenson, a very good pass first PG who hit timely shots and played solid defense, a clutch shooting 17.5 PPG (in the Playoffs) SG in Jason Terry, a legitimate albeit not great starting Center as their backup Center in Haywood, a bigtime sparkplug backup PG in Barea and a momentarily rejuvenated Peja drilling some clutch 3's off the bench. Obviously not the greatest supporting cast ever, I'm not claiming it was by any means but they all played their roles just like Dirk played his role as the teams scorer. Maybe the word “extremely” was a bit of an exaggeration but that was a pretty good team and that supporting cast stepped up big time in the Playoffs to compliment him.
Honestly don't see Dirk as that fortunate for his career
Look at it like this. Think about all the teams guys like Kevin Garnett (MIN), Allen Iverson (PHI), Paul Pierce (Pre-KG), Tracy McGrady (ORL), Vince Carter (TOR) and Ray Allen (SEA) had to suffer with compared to Dirk's years with Dallas' rosters. Those are all players comparable to Dirk (all better players in their prime in my opinion besides Allen who I would consider an equal more or less), I would say he was pretty fortunate to be placed where he was. The Mavericks have had good Coaching most of those years (Don Nelson, Rick Carlisle. Avery’s first season he helped improve their defense so I’ll say he was a good Coach that one year and mediocre every other year), have had one of the best General Managers (Donnie Nelson) and one of the best owners (Cuban obviously). Imagine how some of those players career's would be viewed if they played on Top 5 rosters for 10+ years of their career like Dirk has. Duncan has played with similar talent levels around him as Dirk (Nash/Finley very comparable to Manu/Parker) and done twice as much, not that anyone would be stupid enough to say Dirk was better than Duncan.
I'm not saying that Dirk has played with the type of talent someone like Shaq has played with (Penny/Kobe/Wade/LeBron/Nash/Amare) but he's been pretty damn fortunate to be on one of the Top 5 franchises of his era if you ask me.
there are things that people overrate about Dirk but definitely nothing to do with his on-court play.
If he's considered one of the Top 20 Players of All-Time then I would say his on-court play is definitely overrated. His total impact on games does not make him one of the 20 Greatest Players of All-Time.
Really like this list a lot. I like the fact that you put Robinson in there, he was an absolute monster offensively and defensively.
I with you one hundred percent on the Barkely vs Malone debate. Battle of peak/prime vs longevity in my opinion. Which do you value more? Personally I value peak/prime slightly more and therefore tend to side with Barkley, though I can see an argument either way.
I don't think I rate Isiah quite as highly as you do, but I'd put him in the 20-25 range for sure.
My list would probably be
20. John Havlicek
19. Charles Barkley
18. David Robinson
17. Bob Pettit
16. Elgin Baylor
15. Julius Erving
14. Jerry West
13. Moses Malone
12. Oscar Robertson
11. Lebron James
I might change it up a bit when I get a chance to sit down and really think about it, but that's my first attempt for the time being.
Since you are one of the posters I respect the most on this site (the most so far since I've been back actually, about 3 weeks) I'm glad to hear you agree. I go by peak/prime over longevity as well, though obviously if the player has a pretty big longevity advantage that plays a factor. Can't really argue too much with your list either, lol.