DALLAS -- After catching the ball in the post with a Sacramento Kings defender on his back, Dirk Nowitzki made a pretty reverse pivot and launched a one-legged fadeaway that looked like it was going to fall.
That would have been such a fitting way to pass Hakeem Olajuwon for ninth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list, Nowitzki's iconic shot bumping the Dream Shake down a spot.
Alas, the shot rimmed out. Nowitzki passed Olajuwon to become the leading scorer among foreign players in NBA history with 8:56 remaining in the game on a regular ol' catch-and-shoot 19-footer.
You don't score so many points -- 26,953 for Nowitzki, 26,946 for Olajuwon -- without being able to put the ball in the basket a bunch of different ways. But their unique go-to moves will always be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about these legends.
Nowitzki's one-legged fade has been mimicked by other stars in the NBA. Nowitzki admits he couldn't copy the Dream Shake if he tried.
"I think you need a little athleticism for that move," Nowitzki said with a deadpan delivery. "The footwork, the shaking and baking wasn't really my forte. I came up with a shot where you have to basically lean back and not be athletic at all and just hoist it up.
"I came up with my own Dream Shake. The white version."
Which one is better: the one-legged fade or the Dream Shake? It's kind of like asking to choose between steak and lobster.
Of course, Mavs owner Mark Cuban didn't hesitate to weigh in with his heavily biased opinion.
"I'd take the one-legged simply because even though the Shake and [Olajuwon's] footwork were amazing, he was in an era where there were a lot of bigs who had different go-to moves," Cuban said. "It started before him with Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], but [Patrick] Ewing had moves, guys of his era. There were a lot of low-post guys.
"There weren't guys for Dirk to use as a template to copy and improve on. I think that's the difference. Hakeem took what was happening in the game and perfected it. Dirk took something that hadn't happened before and created. While it's obviously not a knock on Hakeem, I think it's different."
Nowitzki, not surprisingly, deferred to the Dream Shake.
"Man, the Dream Shake was pretty smooth," Nowitzki said, shaking his head and shoulders like Olajuwon after catching the ball on the block. "It was unbelievable. You didn't know which way he was going. He would hit you with the fade both ways, and the jump hook going in the middle. He was a beast, for sure."
As reflected in the record books, Nowitzki is a beast in his own right, with his own style.