Kareem Abdul-Jabbar regrets calling Dirk Nowitzki a ‘one-trick pony’
Basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar now sees the error of his ways in attempting to diminish from the legend that is The Big German.
Over a year after referring to Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki as a “one-trick pony” in an interview at George Mason University, Abdul-Jabbar was on ESPN’s “The Jump” on Wednesday and finally walked back the remarks.
“I want to make a shoutout to Dirk,” said the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, per Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “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.
“He helped the game evolve by stretching the court with his accurate three-point shooting,” Abdul-Jabbar continued about Nowitzki. “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.”
It was an unfair assessment to make from the start about Nowitzki, one of the most complete and versatile offensive talents of his era, almost analogous to calling Abdul-Jabbar himself a one-trick pony with his famed skyhook. The 70-year-old Hall of Famer has been extremely critical in recent years of the modern generation of big men, but perhaps he has begun to see the light.