The Glove, Dirk, and Mikan; Top 50 Players in NBA History Part II

38. Gary Payton

He is best known for his 13-year tenure with the Seattle SuperSonics, and holds Seattle franchise records in points, assists, and steals. He has also played with the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, the last with whom he won his only NBA Championship in 2006.

The only point guard ever to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, Payton is widely considered one of the greatest of all time at that position. He was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times, an NBA record he shares with Michael Jordan, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant.

Payton got his nickname “The Glove” when Payton’s cousin called him during the 1993 Western Conference Finals series against Phoenix and told him, “you’re holding Kevin Johnson like a baseball in a glove,” and thus the nickname was born.

Considered the “NBA’s reigning high scorer among point guards” in his prime, Payton was referred to as “probably as complete a guard as there ever was” by NBA Hall of Famer Gail Goodrich.


37. Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki is most likely the best European player to ever play in the NBA as he has averaged 23 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists for his career. In addition to being selected 10-times as an NBA All-Star, this German player has been selected seven-times as “European Player of the Year” for his remarkable play.

Nowitzki is also one of the best big-man shooters in NBA history, as his high-arching shot simply cannot be guarded as he stands 7’0.The Dallas Mavericks have been extremely successful in the regular season since Nowitzki arrived to their roster as they have had at least 50 wins every season since the 2000-2001 season.

In the 2010-2011 season, Nowitzki was able to lead the Mavericks to their first NBA championship with his brilliant playoff performance.


Next: Boston Great & The Iceman

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