NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 05:  Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates a basket in the closing second of a96-88 win against the Brooklyn Nets during their game at the Barclays Center on January 5, 2015 in New York City.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Dirk Nowitzki doesn’t agree with Kelly Olynyk comparison

Boston Celtics legend and color analyst Tommy Heinsohn, who won 10 combined titles with the organization as a player and as a coach, knows a thing or two about the game, and he says 24-year-old Kelly Olynyk has “the potential to be better than Dirk Nowitzki,” the Dallas Mavericks’ career leader in scoring and a future Hall of Famer.

Heinsohn made the comment after Olynyk’s 13-point second quarter against the Phoenix Suns last Friday night, and three days later Nowitzki responded after he helped down the Celtics 118-113 in overtime with a game-high 31 points.

“Yeah, I mean, I like the kid,” Nowitzki said, via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “I’m just not sure about all that. But I really do like him. He’s a good shooter. He’s improved from year to year, so I do wish him the best. He can be a really good player, but I don’t know if his ceiling is all the way up there. He’s got a long way to go.”

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, not one to hold back his opinion, also chimed in:

Olynyk, who was selected 13th overall in 2013 by Dallas then traded immediately to Boston, is having a career year from 3-point range at 42.6 percent, and he’s been locked in from deep in the month of January with 50 percent of his long-range shots going in. Against the Mavericks, Olynyk made a career-high five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points off the bench.

There’s only a handful of seven-footers with range like that, and Olynyk happens to be one of them. But comparing him to the NBA’s sixth all-time leading scorer might be overdoing it. Nowitzki’s style is one of a kind, and most seven-footers would kill to have it. He’s hit a lot of big shots and been in a lot of big games. As Nowitzki said, Olynyk has a long way to go.

Marcelo Villa

About Marcelo Villa

Marcelo is an associate editor at The Sports Daily, and has covered the San Diego Chargers for Bleacher Report. He also writes for Sportsdirect Inc.