THE END OF AN ERA
Basketball in the NBA is a game of heroes and legends, inspiring their loyal fans. As the dust sets on a generation of superstars, it’s time to reminisce about their exploits and legacies.
Spotlight on: Dirk Nowitzki
The legacy: In a League full of sharpshooting bigs with agility to boot, the big German was the original stretch-four with his unblockably high release point and feathery touch. Having learned his craft under the wings of the unorthodox Holger Geschwindner, Nowitzki excelled at hitting shots that mere mortals would deem impossible.
Evolution of his game: Although he was nicknamed the ‘Dunking Deutschman’, Nowitzki’s game rarely relied on athleticism. With the combination of his deadly outside shot and height, it was expected that he would adapt well to the game with age. The 39-year-old still routinely puts up double digits with ease and efficiency, although he has happily ceded the isolation plays to youngsters like Harrison Barnes and Dennis Smith Jr.
Most memorable moments: Despite his MVP season in 2007 and the hard-earned championship he finally took home with his Dallas Mavericks in 2011, the lasting image of Nowitzki will be his one-legged fadeaway. As they say, imitation is flattery in its sincerest form, and superstars from Kobe Bryant to Kevin Durant have adopted the off-balance but lethal shot for their own. Even when the 7-foot tall German retires, his shot will live on in NBA arenas all over the country.
Article written by: Wong Chin Yi
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the NBA