Dirk Nowitzki Passes Hakeem Olajuwon, Becomes Highest-Scoring Foreign NBA Player

November 11th, 2014 by Tyler Conway Leave a reply »

The debate over where Dirk Nowitzki ranks among the best foreign-born NBA players will rage on long past the end of his career. What won't change—at least for a long while—is him sitting ahead of the pack as the best non-American scorer in history.

Nowitzki moved ahead of Hakeem Olajuwon on the all-time scoring list with a 19-foot jumper in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's game against the Sacramento Kings. His 26,947th point also came with the distinction of the highest-scoring international player in NBA history:

Nowitzki, 36, came into Tuesday's game needing 17 points to pass the former Houston Rockets star. In his 17th NBA season, Nowitzki remains as vital as ever, averaging 20.6 points on 52.3 percent shooting. Despite his accomplishments, the German-born star remains grounded about where he stands on the NBA hierarchy.

"Passing the Big O and knowing that only nine guys ever in this league scored more than me—that’s crazy to think," he told reporters in August. "From where I came from, a little dump in Wurzburg, Germany, it’s been an amazing ride. ...

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