One reoccurring, albeit silly, theme this season has been Karl-Anthony Towns proclaiming himself as "the best big man shooter'' in NBA history.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been surging in the second half of the season, and Towns has been playing at an MVP-level on top of winning the 3-Point Contest at All-Star Weekend, so he's feeling good about himself, and there's certainly nothing wrong with self-confidence.
But ... when you trail a certain all-time great German 7-footer by 1,217 career 3-pointers, it can be perceived as being disrespectful to completely overlook such numbers.
Just ask Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, who has had his fair share of battles with Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki over the years and even modeled some of his game after him.
Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki had many exciting battles against each other.
The Mavs defeated the Timberwolves 110-108 on Monday night.
Karl-Anthony Towns attempts to drive past Dwight Powell.
"There was a lot of bunny hops into shots and jump-spins into shots that Dirk did," said Durant on the latest episode of The ETCs podcast. "It was impressive. ... The movements, I was practicing [them]. To see him do it, I understood how his shot was so sharp to a tee, so I wanted to get to that point."
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Durant mentioned the legendary-but-unorthodox workouts Nowitzki went though each summer with his long-time trainer, Holger Geschwindner, before bluntly setting the record straight in response to Town's lofty claim.
"[Dirk's the] greatest big man shooter of all time," said Durant. "Although I respect KAT. ... But for KAT to say that, come on."
Dirk Nowitzki, Luka Doncic and Jason Kidd at All-Star Weekend.
Dirk Nowitzki laughs with Allen Iverson at the NBA's 75th anniversary ceremony.
Dirk Nowitzki was unsurprisingly selected to the NBA's top-75 players list as part of the league's 75th anniversary this season.
If Towns can continue his current pace for at least another decade and have some of his shooting success translate into some postseason wins, then maybe there will be a real debate. Through seven seasons, Towns has only one postseason win, whereas Nowitzki had 25 postseason wins and a Western Conference Finals appearance at that point in his career.
But for now? Dirk Nowitzki is the undisputed greatest big man shooter in basketball history. Everybody – including Towns and the Wolves – knows it, even if they don't want to admit it.