Dirk Nowitzki had several jaw-dropping plays throughout the course of his career. His pump-fake on Charles Barkley certainly features on that list.
Dirk Nowitzki is arguably one of the greatest to have played in the NBA. Standing at 7 feet tall, the German megastar was responsible for the change in perception about big men shooting from distance.
Suiting up for the Dallas Mavericks for over two glorious decades, Dirk played the game at the most elite level. During the span of his distinguished career, #41 built up an illustrious resume – 14 All-Star selections, 12 All-NBA selections, 1 regular season MVP, a championship, the Finals MVP, got selected to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, and will surely get his legacy cemented in the Hall-Of-Fame.
Having played 1,522 games, the sharpshooter finished his career averaging 20.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game on an efficient 47.1/38/87.9 shooting split.
When Dirk Nowitzki faked out Charles Barkley during a Mavericks-Rockets clash in 1999
Unlike today, there was a common misconception that foreign players weren’t as talented as the Americans. Dirk was one of the first players to bust this long-lasting myth.
Making a positive impact as soon as he set foot on the NBA hardwood, Nowitzki averaged a respectable 8.2/3.4/1 in his rookie season. By the conclusion of his sophomore campaign, the German star had improved to a much-improved 17.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game, while going at it against some of the established greats of the time.
One of the many legends who Dirk had a good battle was with Charles Barkley. In the 6 games they played against each other, the Mavs star managed to outscore Sir Charles 16.5 points-15 points. And in one of their clashes, Nowitzki completely embarrassed The Round Mound of Rebound.
Back in 1999, a young Dirk was passed the ball in the corner. Barkley charged toward the sharpshooter, only to get hit by a nasty pump-fake ending with Nowitzki slamming down the ball.
Rookie Dirk Nowitzki pump fakes Charles Barkley and then finishes with a slam dunk! pic.twitter.com/7sAD3cQNHh
— Oldskoolbball (@Oldskoolbball2) January 6, 2022
To this day, Dirk must be feeling elated with that play, having his idol shook and look like a fool.