Dallas Mavericks legend and 2023 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Dirk Nowitzki was simply an unstoppable offensive force during his time. Nowitzki's prime spanned over a decade, with the Mavs star rounding out his game from its pick-and-pop centricity to being one of the best post-up big men the league has ever seen given his incredible footwork, absurdly good touch around the hoop, and deep bag of trickery. And even though Nowitzki hasn't been active for almost five seasons now, it's evident that he remains a paragon of greatness for current star power forwards, such as Memphis Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr., to emulate.
The Grizzlies star, posting a story on his official Instagram account (@jaren), simply could not comprehend how incredibly Nowitzki performed for the Mavs during their run to the championship 12 years ago.
“Look, he's not even touching rim,” Jackson said while watching footage of Dirk Nowitzki's decimation of the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the NBA Finals — a crucial game in which the Mavs came back from a huge deficit to tie the series at one game apiece.
Per ClutchPoints Twitter:
Jaren Jackson Jr. was left speechless while watching highlights of Dirk Nowitzki's 2011 NBA title run with the Mavs 🎦🏀
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) September 27, 2023
Jaren Jackson Jr. couldn't even put his appreciation of the Mavs legend into words, instead using grunts to convey just how beautiful Dirk Nowitzki's picturesque fadeaway was, not to mention the arsenal of shoulder fakes he had in his locker that helped free him up to let that flamingo fadeaway fly.
The Grizzlies big man knows just how unique of a player Nowitzki is. Thanks to the Mavs legend, it became easier for the league to integrate sweet-shooting big men into their game plans not just as an auxiliary weapon, but as a featured one.
Jackson, of course, is far from the archetype of player Dirk Nowitzki was; Jackson doesn't create too many perimeter looks for himself, instead preferring to bully his way into the rim by utilizing his quickness over plodding big men while finishing with his left hand. The Grizzlies star is also one of the best rim protectors in league history, as evidenced by his Defensive Player of the Year victory. It's just great for Jackson to pay tribute to those who helped pave the way for floor-spacing big men like him.