Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!
Today’s TBT topic: Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki passed Houston Rockets legend and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Hakeem Olajuwon for 9th on the all-time scoring list on Tuesday night after he scored 23 points against the Sacramento Kings. He is now the highest-scoring player born outside the United States in NBA history.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the great things about Dirk Nowitzki, maybe the best thing, is his apparent complete lack of self-awareness when asked to participate in goofy videos. He loves to sing and be silly, as we’ve seen again and again. And it don’t stop, because in this latest video from the Dallas Mavericks, Dirk teams up with Monta Ellis and Chandler Parsons as some sort of new version of the seminal hip-hop group Run DMC, singing a remixed version of “Sucker M.C.’s.”
Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball.
Today’s Topic: All-Time Points Leaders
We continue our Throwback Thursday All-Time Statistical Leaders series today by looking at the Top 10 all-time scoring leaders.
(NOTE:Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few weeks ago, we looked into Dirk Nowitzki‘s long interest in the pop stylings of David Hasselhoff, including a recent performance of “Looking For Freedom” on a German talk show.
Now Dirk is back in Dallas and prepping for a new season with the Mavericks. And in between stops during media day, Nowitzki was asked to drop a few bars of whatever song he would sing to audition for “American Idol.” Without pause, Dirk went for The Hoff and gave a passionate performance…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Dirk Nowitzki is a talented dude. He’s a franchise player, an MVP, and as we see below, he does a mean David Hasselhoff cover.
The backstory for this clip below starts nearly a decade ago, when Dirk admitted that to help himself relax at the free throw line, he would sometimes sing to himself. The one song he singled out as a nerve calmer? David Hasselhoff‘s “Looking for Freedom,” which was a hit in Germany in 1989, when Dirk was growing up. The Hoff performed the song at the Berlin Wall as it was being dismantled, and the song stayed at number one in Germany for two months.
So this week, while on a German talk show to promote a documentary about himself, Nowitzki was presented with a guitar and asked to sing along. The Hoff must be proud…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — With some free time on his hands this summer, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki organized a celebrity baseball game to raise money for the Heroes Foundation and the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation. Dirk managed to draw in some iconic athletes from the Dallas area, from Terrell Owens to Tony Romo to Jason Terry. In the video below you can see Dirk beat out an infield grounder, score from second on a base hit, and lay down a bunt during the home run derby, among other things. As a baseball player, Dirk’s a pretty good basketball player.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last week we looked at the regular-season Horry Scale in full. Now, with the playoffs in full swing, it took just at a week to have our first postseason Horry Scale entry.
What is the Horry Scale? For those who are new around these parts, the Horry Scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Kings-Pistons game?) and celebration (is it over the top or too chill? Just the right panache or needs more sauce?). Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second daggers.
One thing I’d like to clear up: The Horry Scale does not measure only a game-winning shot; the Horry Scale measures several facets of a Game-Winning Buzzer-Beater. So we’re talking about not only the shot, but also the play that creates the shot, the situation and the drama, the celebrations … basically, everything surrounding and including the shot. So when I gave Randy Foye a 3 Horry rating, that wasn’t only a reflection of his shot, which was admittedly remarkable, as I wrote, but also the play, which was awful. Taj Gibson’s lefty layup wasn’t the toughest shot, but that inbounds play was terrific. Basically, everything matters.
Counting the regular season, this gives us a record-setting 18 Horry Scale entries this season. Let’s take a closer look at Vince Carter‘s game-winning three in Game 3 against San Antonio from earlier today…
The corner three-pointer is supposedly the “easiest” three-pointer. Which doesn’t mean it’s easy, obviously. But it is a shorter shot than a straight-away or wing three. But what if you’re shooting from the corner and you’re fading away? And what if you’re covered as tightly as a smedium shirt by Manu Ginobili, with inches to get the shot off?
And what if you have less than 2 seconds left to release the shot? Well, add all those factors together and you’ve got a nearly impossible shot. Thing is, nobody told Vince Carter.
PLAYOFFS! PLAYOFFS! The pressure doesn’t get any higher than in the postseason. As for the play itself, Dallas had the ball down two, after Ginobili scored on the other end to give San Antonio the lead. You’d think Dallas might go either Dirk or Monta, both of whom have made visits to the Horry Scale this season. You would, however, be wrong. Because, of course, the Mavs went to Vince Carter instead…
Monta Ellis says Rick Carlisle saw how Spurs were planning on defending the last play and told Vince Carter he would knock down the shot.
To get Vince open on the inbound play, the Mavs stacked up Vince, Dirk and Brandan Wright, then ran Monta Ellis off the triple screen. As Ellis popped free at the top, Vince ducked to the corner, caught, spun and drained the shot. Good defense from Manu, better shot by Vince. Catch, spin, shot, bottom. Win.
Probably the best all-around celebration of the season. This is partially a function of it happening in the playoffs, when the intensity is already ratcheted up high. When the shot went through, the American Airlines Center went crazy. The Mavs all surrounded Vince and celebrated with him. Two other things that we should note? Right in the center of the Mavs celebration was owner Mark Cuban…
Hey, if I owned an NBA team and we won a playoff game on a last-second shot, I’d be up in that celebration, too.
Also, as the Mavs celebrated, we got a quick glimpse at stoic Popovich…
This is when it all counts. Heckuva situation, heckuva shot. As far as a grade, this one really had it all. I was thinking somewhere between 4 and 5 Horrys. And you know what? We’re going with 5 Horrys for this one, our first five Horry shot of the season…
Now it’s your turn! How many Horrys would you give Vince Carter’s shot?
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — There’s a scene in the recent movie The Wolf of Wall Street where Matthew McConaughey welcomes Leonardo DiCaprio to his first job on Wall Street by asking Leo to join him in a tribal chant right there at the lunch table in a nice restaurant. It’s a chant probably more fitting for a sports venue, so the Dallas Mavericks have put together their own version and hashtagged it “#MAVSCHANT,” and asked fans to record and share their own versions.
For now, here’s Dirk and the fellas giving it their best…