The NBA Southwest division features all three Texas teams as well as Memphis and New Orleans. The division has one of the most storied franchises in the San Antonio Spurs and one of the youngest franchises in the New Orleans Pelicans.
In the article we will look at each team’s best player of all time.
Dallas Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki
The seven foot German power forward was a staple in the city of Dallas for over 20 years from 1998-2019. Nowitzki scored over 31,000 points in his illustrious career all of which was spent with the Mavericks.
Nowitzki is the only player in NBA history to play for one franchise for over 21 seasons. Nowitzki won the league MVP in 2007 but his championship run in the 2011 season made him a Dallas legend.
Nowitzki won the 2011 Finals MVP award and defeated the Miami Heat, a team that defeated them in the finals back in 2006.
Houston Rockets: Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon played for the Rockets from 1984-2001 and led Houston to the NBA Finals three times and won in two of those appearances.
In between Michael Jordan’s dominance in the 90s when he was temporarily retired due to baseball, Olajuwon was probably the best player in the league for those two years. The Rockets and Olajuwon won back to back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995.
In the 1994 season Hakeem was almost perfect winning the NBA Finals and being the Finals MVP, being the year’s league MVP, winning the NBA defensive player of the year award and making the all NBA first team.
Memphis Grizzlies: Marc Gasol
When it comes to the Grizzlies there’s not much to choose from. Ja Morant could be in this position very soon if keeps going at the pace he’s going but for now it’s got to be Marc Gasol. Gasol leads the Grizzlies in all time points, rebounds and blocks and won the NBA defensive player of the year award in 2013 and led the Grizzlies to the Western Conference Finals.
Gasol was also a three time all star and played for Memphis from 2008-2018. Gasol left Memphis in 2018 to join the Toronto Raptors and ended up winning a title there. It’s too bad for Grizzlies fans that he didn’t stick around long enough to play with Ja Morant.
New Orleans Pelicans: Anthony Davis
Davis is the best player to play for the Pelicans franchise and not the Hornets franchise. Davis was an All Star six times and still leads the Pelicans in points and rebounds.
Since the Pelicans are still a very young franchise it is possible that someone could pass Davis up very soon. Someone like Zion Williamson.
San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan had an amazing career with one of the best teams of the decade and probably the best coach of the decade as well in Gregg Poppovich. Duncan was a 15 time All Star and a 10 time member of the all NBA first team.
Duncan was an incredible five time NBA champion in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014. Duncan won Finals MVP three of those five times. Duncan was a back to back league MVP in 2002 and 2003.
So far in the post Duncan era of the Spurs no one has come close to Duncan and what he did for the city of San Antonio.