Legend Dirk Nowitzki perfectly reacts to Nikola Jokic comparison
Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki is going to be enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, and he is regarded by many as the best European player ever. Yet, Dirk is jealous of Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic’s court vision and is honored by the comparisons made between the two:
“Damn,” Nowitzki said of the Nuggets talent, via Zach Lowe of ESPN. “That’s a compliment. I wish I had his skill set. His passing is so good it’s a joke. I unfortunately always wanted to score and not pass.”
Indeed, Jokic has set the NBA world on fire with his playmaking ability.
The All-Star big man is comfortable handling the ball in transition, and he can spot open Nuggets teammates while backing down or facing up opponents on the block.
Nowitzki was one of the most devastating offensive forces in the league for nearly 20 years, amassing 31,560 points in his career. But he averaged just 2.4 assists per game for his career, with a single-season high of 3.5 dimes per game. By comparison, Jokic has averaged over 7.0 assists in each of the last two seasons.
But the comparisons probably stem from the style the two share in the post.
Nowitzki practically made the one-legged fallaway jumper his own signature move. His unorthodox shot was similar to the skyhook in terms of the impossibility for defenders to close the distance and block Dirk.
Jokic has deployed this jumper quite often in his career, with his high-arcing jumper taking opponents by surprise.
In any case, the Nuggets big man would do quite well to have a career trajectory akin to Nowitzki, who–like many others–is enamored with Jokic’s skill set.