We love Utah Jazz star Lauri Markkanen, but we think it’s a bit much to compare him to Dirk Nowitzki.
Lauri Markkanen has really established himself since arriving in Utah as the top dog on the team. Markkanen, a former lottery pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves has been dealt to Chicago, Cleveland, and most recently Utah in what has been a revolving door of teams giving up on the Finnish superstar.
Markkanen landed in Utah and immediately took charge of the team’s offense, posting over 25 points per game, on great efficiency, while earning his first All-Star nod of his career. He’s a top 10 player at his position, regardless of where that position is (SF or PF), and he’s the centerpiece of the Jazz’s revival efforts to get back to the playoffs.
He’s even shown that his talents still translate to the international game, as he was the only player worth watching on Team Finland during the FIBA World Cup. We’re big fans of his game, clearly.
Yet, even we think comparing him to Dirk Nowitzki is a tad premature.
Nowitzki isn’t just one of the best big men in the history of the game, he’s one of the best players to ever step on the court in the history of basketball. Conservatively, he’s a Top 20 player in the history of the game, and the greatest player in Dallas Mavericks history, as well as the entire country of Germany.
And while Markkanen, like Nowitzki, is the greatest player from his country of all time (Finland), he’s far from being the best Chicago Bull, Cleveland Cavalier or Utah Jazz player. And while Nowitzki, if we’re being ultra critical, is a top 20 player of all time, Markkanen isn’t really considered a top 20 player in 2023.
Outside of some minor similarities (race, shooting touch, European), the two men have little in common.
One day, down the road, maybe Markkanen will be in the Hall of Fame, having won the Jazz two NBA titles in his career.r Maybe, it’s possible. But until that day comes, let’s not compare Markkanen to one of the games’ elitest of elite players. Ok?