Kevin Love on being a stretch big: “I always looked at number 41, that’s Dirk Nowitzki.”

Kevin Love held a press conference with the Cleveland Cavaliers media on Tuesday and Dirk Nowitzki was brought up during the discussion on the value of stretch bigs.

Love said he looked up to the Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki. He worked on playing inside and outside, being able to become a great shooter but also have the ability to have a post game as well.

“That’s where the game is going, the European influence in the last 10 to 15 years,” Love stated. “I always looked at number 41, that’s Dirk Nowitzki. I loved his game, what he’s done with his career being a 7-foot player able to shoot the ball while still playing with his back to the basket. I knew I’d be a better commodity in any system if I was able play inside and outside.”

Dirk has had an influence not only on the power forward position, but on basketball in general. Every one from Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, Kevin Love, Lamarcus Aldridge, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, and many more basketball players in the world have tried to perfect the moves from Dirk’s repertoire. The occasional average man (like myself) or woman has tried it also in the local gym every once a while. Let’s just say I will leave that move to Dirk. No one has succeeded, but it goes to show that he has had a signature move that will be used for decades to come such as the sky hook (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).

Dirk Nowitzki is also the reason so many teams look for a “stretch four” in their line up, someone who can play outside just as much as inside. The main reason is because it is just difficult to defend and hard to step.

Dirk will leave the NBA with a lot of accolades including:

NBA champion (2011)
NBA Finals MVP (2011)
NBA Most Valuable Player (2007)
12× NBA All-Star (2002–2012, 2014)
4× All-NBA First Team (2005–2007, 2009)
5× All-NBA Second Team (2002–2003, 2008, 2010–2011)
3× All-NBA Third Team (2001, 2004, 2012)
50–40–90 club (2007)
NBA Three-Point Shootout champion (2006)
NBA Shooting Stars champion (2010)
Dallas Mavericks all-time leading scorer
FIBA World Cup MVP (2002)
FIBA EuroBasket MVP (2005)
6× Euroscar Award Winner (2002–2006, 2011)
5× All-Europeans Player of the Year (2005–2008, 2011)
2× FIBA Europe Player of the Year (2005, 2011)
Mister Europa Player of the Year (2005)
Silbernes Lorbeerblatt (2011)
German Sports Personality of the Year (2011)
Naismith Legacy Award (2012)
Magic Johnson Award (2014)

There will be champions before and after Dirk. There will be MVPs before and after Dirk. There will be All-Stars before and after Dirk. There will be Hall of Famers before and after Dirk. There are three things that cement Dirk Nowitzki’s legacy more than other NBA legends for generations to come: The “stretch four,” one-legged fadeaway, and staying with one franchise.



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