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Why Nikola Jokic Better Than This Legend All-Time

Nikola Jokic has just won the NBA Finals and Finals MVP. The championship capped off an incredible playoff run that not only featured a string of excellent personal performances from the big man. After beating Karl-Anthony Towns' Timberwolves, Kevin Durant's Phoenix Suns, LeBron James' Lakers, and Jimmy Butler's Heat in the previously mentioned finals.


These incredible feats have shown the casual basketball viewer how good Nikola Jokic is. This has also begun to prompt a discussion in the NBA community. Has Jokic surpassed the great Dirk Nowitzki?


Where Is This Jokic/Nowitzki Comparison Coming From?


Well, to start, they are both foreign big-men who can shoot the ball with ease. It also doesn't help that they had weirdly similar paths during their title runs in the playoffs. Both beat Kevin Durant and friends, swept the Lakers, beat LeBron James, and won against the Heat in the finals. Although a crazy coincidence, it is not the only reason for the comparison.


Jokic is similar to Nowitzki in how they both play—big men who force the defense to play up and stretch the floor. While Jokic passes it a lot more and almost acts as the guard for his team, both are very similar in how they force defenses to react.


They play a very different version than the traditional big man and force the other teams around the league to change if they want to have a hope of beating them.


Does This Comparison Have Any Legs To Stand On?


Shockingly, it is a lot stronger than you may think it to be. Dirk walked away with one MVP, one championship, and 14 all-star appearances in his entire career. At this point, Nikola Jokic is 27. He has amassed two MVPs, one title, and five all-star appearances. Not to mention, Jokic won his championship far before Nowitzki did. Jokic won at 27 years old; Dirk won when he was 32.


By the time Nowitzki was 27, he had only gotten the all-star nod five times, the same amount as Jokic. Jokic is not only on a similar pace but also on a nearly identical pace as Nowitzki himself was, if not better. It is evident why people are starting to debate this and even why it might have some validity. But unfortunately for the side supporting Jokic, "all-time" is not a sprint; it's a marathon.


The Verdict: Dirk Nowitzki Is Still Better.


Nikola Jokic is a truly generational player. He has broken so many records that there was a new one every game to hear about. It should also be mentioned that he nearly became the third player EVER to average a triple-double but missed it by .2 assists per game. While all of this is truly incredible, and he has more than earned his two MVPs (I mean that literally. Joel Embiid robbed him of MVP), he still needs to pass Dirk Nowitzki entirely.


The debates about who is genuinely better all-time are all about the better career and who did more for the entire time they played. Nikola Jokic has done some awe-inspiring things but has yet to compare to Dirk's total stats. Jokic has 19 thousand fewer points, five thousand fewer rebounds, and four hundred fewer blocks.


At his current pace, the sky is the limit for Nikola Jokic and whatever he can accomplish. But unfortunately, solely due to the enormous amount of points and stats that Nowitzki accrued during his tenure in the NBA, it's safe to say that Nowitzki is still better than Jokic, all-time.


But Jokic is coming, and if he continues to put up the insane stats that he has for the past few years and keeps winning the hardware to go along with it, we might be comparing him to a completely separate group of guys on the all-time ladder, one that includes Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

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