The Dallas Desperado
Today, I am not talking about the Dallas Desperados. Though they were a kickass Arena Football Team I watched back in the early-mid 2000s with my uncle and his best friend. I swear to god my uncle's best friend brought binoculars to watch the dancers. Oh how cool it likely was to be 45 years old in the early 2000s. Technology Boom, solid economy, people still remembered Michael Jordan fresh on their minds, people loved Griffey and Shaq, football players weren't beating women, helmet to helmet targeting wasn't a thing (though it should have been for sure but it slows the game WAY down now). Funny still, binoculars for the dancers. They were basically attractive strippers. Think "The Replacements"...
And in the early 2000s, acting was just drama, comedy, and getting the job done. Sure, there were some political and social statements, but not like today. Not at all. First off the 2002 Oscars, which is what I am basing this time frame on, had Denzel for Training Day, Smith for Ali, Penn for Sam I Am, and Crowe for A Beautiful Mind up for Best Actor. And for Best Actress: Berry for Monster's Ball, Kidman for Moulin Rouge!, and Renee Z for Bridget Jones' Diary. A bit more solid than this year, I would say. Five legends. Christian Bale is a legend, but to prove my point, he won based on a movie slamming a seemingly terrible Vice President of our country. Not saying he was not a bad man and Vice President, hell I never met him, but definitely different than Denzel's performance as a crooked, fictional cop. It is no secret politics and acting have intertwined, maybe because Trump was basically an actor first, and is extremely offensive towards anyone, so actors fight back, rightfully so.Denzel and Berry won the top awards as Best Actor/Actress. This article is not about race and gender and acting. It just is fresh on my mind after watching the Golden Globes. They didn't win because of race. There really weren't racial tensions. They simply kicked ass. Acting, like all things, is about who does the best job. Which leads me to my comparison for this article. In watching the 2019 Golden Globes, there were some definite political and social statements. Even my fairly liberal, leftwing girlfriend said that out loud. We are used to it now in award shows, especially when we have frankly a white bully as our Commander in Chief. It is good in a lot of ways, while others think it is a bit much lately. That is not the point of this article again, so now more on that!!
One interesting part of the show was when Jeff Bridges took the stage to accept the Cecil B. DeMille award. Not only was his 5+ minute long speak long, all over the place, introspective, with some dude-isms, but it showed why he won. He is a real character. A legend who has been doing this since the 1960s. The award is essentially for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment" according to Wiki and 15 women and 51 men have honored, including Oprah last year. Pretty uneven, but again not the point of the article. (and yes, Oprah was the first woman of color to win, which is nuts how long that took). The point is, Bridges is not thought of us top 5 or 10 or 15 or whatever in most people's list of best actors ever. Maybe favorite, especially for his role as The Dude in the Big Lebowski. But he received the award and they showed the various roles he has played and it made me think, "wow, this guy has done more than maybe ten actors ever and his still doing it."He did an incredible job in Bad Times at the El Royale at age 69 just last year and an equally good job in Hell of High Water just two year prior.So in this regard, him still doing really well, his NBA counterpart who I will write about differs. He is struggling. I'll get to that in a bit.
Bridges won an Oscar and Golden Globe for his role in Crazy Heart about a decade ago.He is still very relevant and will be remembered for a while, though not as a top 10 actor for serious people who make serious lists.He seems to have a great heart, maybe a bit crazy (bad joke), is sharp especially for age 69, and is overall loved and respected by the acting community and fans.
It reminds me a lot of the Dallas Desperado, Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk could also win an award for "outstanding contributions to the world of basketball" and I will outline why. Do I have Dallas bias? Sure. But don't for a second think that is swaying this article a whole lot, or the fact that he is German and I have Germanic blood in my veins.Numbers don't lie and that will be a huge piece of what I write.
As I write this in early Jan 2019, Dirk is about 300 rebounds away from cracking the top 25 in total rebounds in NBA history, surpassing Patrick Ewing, arguably the best center for the city of New York in their basketball history.Dirk is also currently 12th all time in three pointers made, in history. Let that...sink in. I know the 3ball didn't become popular until the 90s really, and now a huge part of the game (too big according to Greg Pop and others), so of course, MJ could have made more than Dirk, or someone like I don't know, Kobe?LOL...Dirk has made more than Kobe, making 100 more thus far, despite shooting 500 less.That is the other thing on the 3 pointer stat. Dirk is 12th. Looking at the top 20 ever in makes and ranking their 3p%, guess who is ahead of him, all time?Only 9. So it really isn't about volume. And those men? The best shooters ever essentially. In order of 3p%: Curry (nearly 44% somehow career), Korver, Nash, Dale Ellis, Peja, Ray, Reggie, then Chauncey and Rashard barely squeak by Dirk or he would have cracked the top 8.Sure, Klay and Durant are sneaking up, and even JJ Reddick. And sure Harden is close.But here are some interested stats for three of the top 10 SHOOTING guards ever. SHOOTING is the key word here.Harden is 15th ever in threes made. His career started as Curry revolutionized the game, explaining why he shoots so many. He will end up way up there on the list. And yet he shoots 36% career. Worse than Dirk. And at this point, that's not volume. They have shot roughly the same in their careers, though Dirk has played nearly twice as long. So Dirk was hence a better long distance shooter than Harden is.Kobe is 14th, shooting 33%. He shot more and made less than Dirk. 2nd or 3rd best shooting guard ever.MJ never made it a focus in his career, but as a side note, he went 581/1778, worse than 33%, and did not even shoot 2 per game in his career. Still wanted to throw that out there.
So, let's look at the best 3 point shooters out of the top 27 rebounders ever, shall we? Do a little cross pollination. Dirk is 26th now. Pau Gasol is 27th, which is why I am showing a top 27, and I know Pau can shoot, so let's take a look!Pau has gone 177/480. Dirk has gone 1925/5032. More than 10 times more. Okay.How about Barkley?He is #19 in most rebounds. And whoa, he has made three times what Gasol did...538/2020. But look at that 3p%. Less than 27%. So he made about 1/4 of what Dirk has and shot 40% as much. That's no good.How about Marc Gasol? Cousins? Anthony Davis?Gasol is 284/819. Pretty good %, just didn't shoot enough and he's already winding down his career it seems.Cousins, though he may never be the same, is 316/936, for about 33%. Not awful. But he needs to average 200/500 threes per season (2.5/6 per game)for the next EIGHT seasons, until he is 36 years old, to catch Dirk.Not happening. And for rebounds, he is at 5884 total. Very respectable for hardly 500 games played.Dirk has over 11,300 rebounds. So in addition to Boogie averaging 2.5 threes per game for 650 more games, he needs to average 11 rebounds in those games as well to catch Dirk. Likely not happening.Less than 5% chance.For Davis, his total are: 446 games, 167/539 in threes.4711 rebounds. So if he can play another 1000 games (12-13 seasons), he needs to average 1.8 made threes per game (he is currently shooting 3 per game, so he needs to start shooting closer to 5 ASAP), and also grab 7 rebounds per game for 1000 games. That could happen for sure. He will be 40 years old, but hey, so is Dirk now.The three though for Davis would be tough. He will likely end up with closer to 1000 than 2000.Wait, what about Zingus?He is tough to gauge. He is 23, but is currently hurt. So far, in 185 games total, he has made 283/785 threes and snatched 1317 rebounds.That is pretty damn good.That is about 1.5 threes per game and seven rebounds.Can he do it?Here is what he will need to do...Get healthy and play 80 games per season for 14 more seasons, and keep those numbers up. At that point, his totals will be at: 1,960 threes. 9100 rebounds.Let's bring Dirk's back up.1,925 threes so far, over 11,000 rebounds. Zingus better get healthy and start grabbing boards...So, will anyone ever be able to grab misses, a huge part of the game of basketball, and also be able to make threes, like Dirk Nowitzki, ever, in the history of the game?WAIT, Lebron?? Lebron right now:1684 threes (out of 4892), not bad at all.8698 rebounds.Hmm...This season he is averaging 2 threes made per game and about 8 rebounds, so let's use these stats. Lebron takes care of his body. He wants to play with his son.Let's so six more full seasons of 70 games. And maybe 30 more this season. So 450 games left in his career, likely max.900 more threes. That would put him well above Dirk, at 2500+, behind Reggie and Curry and Allen as fourth most ever. Wow.Rebounds?3600 more rebounds would put him at 12,300.That would put him at 22nd all time and hundreds ahead of Dirk.This would also put Lebron at over 1600 games, around 1620-1630 games played. Robert Parish played 1611. He would have played the most games, which definitely helps his cause to hit 2000 threes and snatch 12,000 boards, two things Dirk will likely fall short on.But PER GAME in career, it would put Lebron at 7.6 rebounds and 1.56 threes per game (he is currently at 1.4).Dirk is at 7.7 rebounds for career, and 1.3 threes.
Can Lebron do it? Averaging 8 rebounds per game into his late thirties, and continuing to make 2 threes per game (which is his career high) would be tough.Dirk just last year, before he turned 40, was making 1.8/4 per game (40%) and was snatching 6.5 boards per game just the season prior, despite having a 20 inch vertical, so it is possible and I wouldn't put it past Lebron.But realistically, Lebron snatches 7 rebounds for 400 games left in his career, and falls short of the 12,000, though still out rebounds Dirk.
So the one person that we can see doing this is a healthy Lebron James.And that is like saying "well I can see Leo up on stage getting that award in twenty years..." while watching the Globes last week. Yes, I can see that too.But let's respect the now. The Desperado. The man who may hit his fourth decade of playing ball if he can play another season, something that has never been done before. 90s, 2000, 2010s, and 2020.
He won a title. An MVP. His longevity is nearly unparalleled, as his uniqueness in grabbing missed shots and making long shots on the other end. He never played alongside a 23ppg support player, and beat James, Kobe, KD, Wade, Harden, Russ, Gasol, Bosh in one postseason...
Let's respect and remember this man, dudes.