Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: My Dirk Nowitzki ‘one-trick pony’ comments were misconstrued
Abdul Jabbar this week on ESPN, as transcribed by Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
“I want to make a shout-out to Dirk,” Abdul-Jabbar told Nichols. “Some of the statements I made about him were misconstrued to make it seem like I was trying to knock him and knock his career.
“Nothing could be farther from the truth.’’
Of Nowitzki, Abdul-Jabbar went on to say: “He helped the game evolve by stretching the court with his accurate 3-point shooting. Anybody that can lead the league multiple times as the leading scorer is awesome.
“And anything that I said that made anybody think differently, they got it wrong. And I wanted him to hear that from me.”
Nowitzki was an underrated rebounder, defender and passer in his prime. That’s why he led the Mavericks to the 2011 title.
If he had done those things better, would he have been better? Um, sure. That’s not really a point.
And Nowitzki used his primary skill – shooting – to great effect all over the floor in a variety of actions. It’s an oversimplification to call it a single trick.
I don’t know what Abdul-Jabbar originally meant, but it sure sounded as if he was selling Nowitzki short. I don’t blame anyone for walking away believing that was his intent.
But good for Abdul-Jabbar for praising Nowitzki now – even if he’s changing his tune rather more than setting the record straight, though this is probably some of both.