Not many people had a better July 5th than Chet Holmgren. After being one of the most talked-about high school players in basketball history, and one of the most confusing NBA draft prospects ever, Holmgren finally got to put an NBA jersey on and show everyone what he’s got. And man... he did not disappoint.
Holmgren dropped 23 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 shooting from deep to go along with seven rebounds, four assists, six blocks, and one steal in only 24 minutes of action. It was one of the most dominant Summer League performances ever. (Take that however you want.)
Throughout the night, Holmgren’s play had tons of people firing off the Kevin Durant comparisons. Kevin Durant even offered Chet some praise.
I see u cookin 7. First day on the job was a success, love the kicks @ChetHolmgren https://t.co/sQrgDpPCU0— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 6, 2022
But there was also some talk about how Holmgren reminded folks of a different NBA legend: Dirk Nowitzki.
Obviously, Holmgren and Nowitzki have different games. And even more obviously, 24 good minutes of Summer League doesn’t mean a whole lot in comparison to Dirk’s illustrious NBA career. But damn if it isn’t fun to think about.
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July 6, 2022
Nowitzki inspired an entire generation of kids shooting one-legged fadeaways in their driveway, and it looks like Holmgren was one of those kids. That move from last night is straight out of the Dirk Nowitzki handbook.
There were also these fun photos from the playoffs where Dirk and Chet got to meet.
Hope these guys didn’t have their eyes closed for the real picture. pic.twitter.com/jshjmHCsHw— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) May 27, 2022
Dallas Mavericks fans don’t have the luxury of having Chet Holmgren on their favorite team, but they do have the luxury of watching this young kid do things that remind them of the greatest player in Mavericks history.
There was a lot of pre-draft talk about how Gonzaga didn’t exactly empower Chet to explore his dangerous midrange game. But it looks like the Thunder (along with the NBA’s spacing) are indeed empowering him to do so.
Expect to see more Dirk Nowitzki comparisons for Chet Holmgren as Summer League continues. There are plenty more midrange fadeaways in Chet’s future.