Commentary

Dirk Nowitzki's place in history

Comparing the Mavs' star to the best who ever played the game

Updated: June 13, 2011, 6:54 PM ET
By Austin Link | TeamRankings.com
NowitzkiRobyn Beck/AFP/Getty ImagesNowitzki now has a ring, so how does he compare to other all-time greats?

The Dallas Mavericks have been crowned NBA champions, and people in Dallas (and possibly Cleveland) will be celebrating throughout the summer and into the fall. This championship will be remembered for many things, but chief among them is the number of one-time stars finally getting a ring. Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Peja Stojakovic, and even Caron Butler all have multiple All-Star selections but have never broken through until now. The biggest of the stars, however, is without a doubt NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki.

After leading his team in scoring for the 11th consecutive season, Dirk and the Mavs will now forever be champions. Rick Carlisle said earlier in the playoffs that Dirk was one of the top 10 players of all time, and a championship would seem to back that up. Is Dirk really in the pantheon of all-time greats, or is there some irrational love right now for the big German? Here's a look at how Dirk's playoffs and all-time numbers stack up to other greats of the game.