The scoring titans continue as we look at NBA history’s greatest scorers.
After Michael Jordan won his sixth NBA championship with the Chicago Bulls and made US gambling news, he retired for a second time. After some time as a manager for the Washington Wizards, his desire to win got the best of him and he became a player. The largest problem Jordan had with his younger teammates was he was on the court during game time. Jordan’s teammates grew up watching and revering him as a deity.
• Dirk Nowitzki is the 6th player to enter the 50-40-90 club in NBA history
• Malone holds the NBA record for most offensive rebounds at 587
• Kareem Abdul Jabbar is the all-time leader in total points scored in NBA history
Most of Jordan’s teammates never thought they would ever be side by side with his “Airness.” As a result, whenever they went up the court all eyes would be on Jordan as he held the ball within shooting range. In fact, Jordan’s teammates would stop performing as they should in their positions just to make sure they saw they wouldn’t miss any of his magic. Jordan’s teammates acted like fans instead of players. Such as the effect of being in the presence of a scoring titan. Let’s look at some more.
Moses Malone and Dirk Nowitzki reached more than 27,000 points
Moses Malone was known for entering the NBA directly from Petersburg High School in Petersburg, Virginia. Although he had signed a letter of intent for University of Maryland, the ABA drafted him instead making Malone one of the first players to the pros from high school. Malone’s 21 years as a professional led him straight to the Hall of Fame. He was also the last ABA player that was active in the NBA.
Malone was a scorer and more. Although he could take it to the hoop with authority, Malone was a reputed “monster rebounder” averaging at 13 rebounds a game and ranked third behind Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Malone holds the NBA record for most offensive rebounds at 587. In 1978, Malone entered the All-star game for the first of his 12 consecutive trips. Moses Malone ended with a lifetime average of 23.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and amassed a total of 27,409 points.
Dirk Nowitzki, in a sharp contrast, made 1,575 three-pointers compared to eight made by Malone. The completely frightening part is that Nowitzki, at 28,119 points only entered the league in 1998. Though he’s active in the NBA, Nowitzki ranks seventh on the all time scoring list. The 7-foot German is considered one of the greatest power forwards in the history of the NBA. He was the first European player to start in an All-star game and receive the NBA MVP award.
Nowitzki entered the 50-40-90 club in 2007 in which he held a shooting percentage of 50% from the field, 40% in 3-pointers and 90% in free throw. There are only six players ever to have accomplish this feat. Nowitzki, a sure bet within US gambling laws, happens to be a monster on the inside, slamming the ball with the best of them. Lebron James called Nowitzki’s “one-legged fade away jump shot” as the second most unstoppable move ever behind Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s “Sky Hook.”
The Shaq and The Dream
Standing at 7 foot 1 inch and weighing 325 pounds, Shaquille O’Neal for most of his 19-year career was a giant among ants. His low post play earned Shaq a consistent 23.7-point scoring average. Shaq’s “drop step” would prove extremely effective by posting up a defender and using his elbows to turn around him and drive to the hoop for the slam. His size and presence on the court made Shaq a media celebrity.
Since Shaq slammed the ball so often, his field-goal percentage was high. The Achilles heel for Shaq was his free throw shooting which he largely ruled as a mental problem. Defenders would double and triple team Shaq and send him to the free throw line in a practice known as “Hack a Shaq.” In his six teams he played for in his 19-year career, Shaq scored 28,596 points, won four NBA championships and won many punters a lot of money through online sportsbooks in the US.
Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon is a highly regarded centers in NBA history winning two consecutive championships for the Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995. Hakeem is the only player to win NBA MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and Finals MVP in the same season. Also, Hakeem is only one of four to get a quadruple-double which is a double figure in points, rebounds, assists, steals or blocked shots in a game.
Jordan once said that if he had to pick a center for his own all-time best team he would pick Olajuwon. Hakeem moves better than most centers with a smoothness and intelligence. Hakeem’s low post play featured a plethora a moves including his signature “Dream Shake”, he credited learning from football in Nigeria. Hakeem averaged 21.8 points throughout his career and gained 26,946 points.