Smack / Dec 19, 2009 / 7:09 am

The Tooth, The Whole Tooth

Dirk Nowitzki = MMA fighter?

Dirk Nowitzki = MMA fighter?

If all it takes to earn a reputation for toughness is a couple of confirmed badass stories that can morph into tall tales in due time, Dirk Nowitzki might be on his way to shedding that “soft” label he’s had hung on him for years by his harshest critics. In the second quarter of Mavs/Rockets, Dirk was driving the lane when his elbow caught Carl Landry in the mouth — or more accurately, his elbow caught some of Carl Landry’s mouth — while drawing a foul. Multiple teeth were lost in the collision, one of them, amazingly, wound up embedded in Dirk’s elbow flesh. Gross. Dirk gets tough-guy points for shooting the ensuing free throws with his left hand and even making one, but he also might lose some points with some people because he left the game after that and didn’t return. Landry also had to leave and didn’t come back. Now if only this were the era before everybody could get it on camera, the story would have blown up into Dirk dunking on Landry with his head above the rim and coming down with Landry’s entire lower row of teeth lodged in his armpit … After things returned to basketball from the UFC interruption, the playoff intensity jacked up a notch. Jason Kidd (8 pts, 11 rebs, 10 asts, 4 stls) and David Andersen got into a fourth-quarter spat when Kidd doled out a shoulder-check that gave poor Luis Scola a Derek Fisher flashback, then a few minutes later, Erick Dampier got a tech following an Aaron Brooks flagrant foul. (6-11, 270-pound Damp squaring up on Brooks, who looks like a middle schooler, was hilarious.) … The Rockets led by 10 with four and a half minutes to go, but J-Kidd and Shawn Marion sparked a quick comeback, and Tim Thomas forced overtime when he buried a corner three with 10 seconds left. In OT, though, Brooks scored nine of his 25 points as the Rockets pulled away. Kyle Lowry added 26 points, 10 dimes and five steals in the win … Just last week we debated whether Gilbert Arenas or Monta Ellis is the better player right now. And apparently Gilbert didn’t think we argued his side hard enough. Hibachi dumped 45 points (15-25 FG, 11-16 FT) on the Warriors on national TV, and before you could say he was just gunning, he threw in 13 assists to boot. By far his best performance of the season, Arenas was sharp on his cuts and drives to the lane, his jumper was feathery, and he expertly danced the fine line between forcing it and being aggressive … And it’s not even like G-State defended Arenas like they did Brandon Jennings when he gave them 55. The Warriors were going over screens instead of under them, and they weren’t just letting Arenas shoot, but he still ate them up … So Allen Iverson sat out Philly’s game at Boston, and of course the Sixers — who’d been 0-12 against teams with winning records and 1-4 overall with Iverson in the lineup — pulled off the upset without him. And now Lou Williams is reportedly coming back from his broken jaw sooner than expected, Jrue Holiday has been improving, and we smell a PG PT controversy brewing … The Sixers were down one with 23 ticks left after KG hit go-ahead free throws, and went to Marreese Speights to win it. He missed a short jumper, but Elton Brand sealed off Paul Pierce and got a tip-in for the game-winner … What was Mike Fratello talking about by calling Pierce “small” when he was breaking down Brand’s play on NBA TV? The Czar did it multiple times, too. Which Paul Pierce has he been watching? … As Chris Paul was completely dominating Hornets/Nuggets (FYI, Chauncey Billups was out), we wondered if anybody had ever put up 30 points and 20 assists in one game. It turns out, according to basketball-reference.com, it’s been done five times since the ’86-87 season: Magic, Fat Lever and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf did it, and Kevin Johnson did it TWICE. Paul finished with 30 and 19. He also had nine boards, so we had to see if anybody had ever done a 30-10-20 triple-double, and found out Magic and Lever were the only ones. Insanity … Other big stat lines from Friday: LeBron had 26 points, 10 boards and eight dimes to beat the Bucks; Kevin Durant scored 27 as OKC knocked off Detroit; Josh Smith had 16 points, five steals, and like 46 dunks as the Hawks routed the Jazz; Kevin Love put up 20 points and 16 boards in a rare Wolves win over Sacramento; Amir Johnson‘s 18 points led seven Raptors who scored in double-figures to beat the Nets; and David Lee posted 25 and 11 boards as New York edged the Clippers … That low rumbling you heard in the middle of the night was every basketball purist on the planet turning over in their graves at what happened during Pacers/Grizzlies. Tyler Hansbrough, Everybody’s All-American and the purist’s idol, went up against the (allegedly) lazy, undisciplined slacker that is Zach Randolph — and Tyler got DONE UP. In one fourth-quarter sequence, Z-Bo took Hansbrough down low for an and-one, then blocked Psycho T’s shot twice on the same possession on the other end, then iced a jumper in his grill that was essentially the dagger. Zach finished with 26 points, 16 boards and three blocks, and we heard he made Dick Vitale cry … We’re out like Landry’s teeth …

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  • Lord Jay

    “we heard he made Dick Vitale cry”- hilariously priceless….yeah baby

  • Mary

    You lose points for this column.

    It took the trainers a full 30 minutes just to extract the teeth from Dirk’s elbow.

    Dirk’s well-known for not missing games and playing while injured.

    Only the massively ignorant put a soft label on him.

  • big dog

    thats the tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth

  • That’s what’s up

    all Carl wants for Christmas is his two front teeth

  • That’s what’s up

    Nice game for Arenas.
    It’s just a shame he won’t have another good game for a couple of weeks

    I can only imagine what Z-Bo was telling Hansbrough the whole night…

    and it’s funny in post 2 you have some bitch whining like a bitch…
    Sweetie, I think it’s WNBA.com that you were looking for

  • TJ

    Dirk is really good, but he’s a huge pussy. He made a big deal about it while Landry just calmly walked off the court.

  • Hi, Jurg from Denmark

    hi hi from jurgo in copehna’.

    it is so electric in copenhag’ right now and your good mr preseidnet obamas was in the house.

    change must come.

    from jurg, hi hi.

  • That’s what’s up

    TJ – Landry bit Dirk’s funny bone

  • dude

    He would only lose “tough-guy” points from uninformed and ridiculous “authors” such as yourself.

  • q

    Why did Iverson missed a game?

  • QQ

    Looks like the Sixers always fuck up Dime’s AI man love. LOL. When he came back and yall (especially Cassidy) were orgasming in nostalgia, OF COURSE they lose. When he sat out against the best team record wise in the East (Magic’s the REAL best, says my biased ass), OF COURSE they fucking pulled an upset win.

    *Me pointing at Dime and saying in Nelson’s voice:* HAHA.

  • sh!tfaced

    “all Carl wants for Christmas is his two front teeth”
    LOL. Classic! Merry Christmas, Mr Landry.

    Ouch. That’s like about 3 incidents Carl Landry has lost his fangs to sharp elbows – to Dirk, Mutumbo and Boozer. Ugh.

    Paul Pierce wondering why they play weak at home? It’s you, man. Been playing like shit at the Garden the past few games.

    Paul “The Truth” and Carl “The Tooth” both losing bite in their respective games.

  • baron

    Landry is the one who has the badass stories, been shot and got his damn teefus knocked out.

    Not that I think either one of those things is cool, but it makes him sound like Clint Eastwood tough.

  • YW

    Zach might have said after the game what AI said to John Stockton after dropping 50 on him: “no f–king white boy can guard me”, hahaha

  • dz

    Getting bit (I know he didn’t get bit — his arm “bit” Landry’s teeth) is serious shit. There’s nasty bacteria in there. Dirk was getting that cleaned and getting an IV of antibiotics, for sure.

  • sh!tfaced

    The reason why Nowitzki shot two lefty from the stripe before leaving the game was to find out if Dirk got infected from Landry’s incurable disease shooting free throws.

  • FK

    16 points and 48 dunks??

    Nice math son

  • QQ

    @ 17:

    Ever heard of ‘exaggeration to prove a point’?

  • Murphy3

    Anyone that questions Dirk’s toughness at this stage of his career simply hasn’t been paying enough attention to the NBA over the past decade. He has frequently returned with horrendous looking ankle sprains long before anyone thought possible. He returned from losing and breaking several teeth in a playoff game to drop 40+ with more than 15 boards against the Spurs. Heck, even if you want to question his mental toughness, just look at how he responded to his fiance’s arrest last year? He was dominant against the Nuggets. It’s just unfortunate that many of his teammates failed to show up in that series.

  • E$

    Most players would become soft if they went through what Carl Landry has been through. He does the opposite & comes back stronger & more aggressive

  • UselessNinja

    All I want to say is, I watched the Wiz/Warriors game last night and maybe it’s just me, but DeShawn Stevenson plays ball like a drug dealer who hasn’t been on the court since he quit the team in high school…dude wasn’t even trying half the time

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs before Slamball

    @dime, how in the hell does DIRK lose the soft label,when carl is the one who took the brunt of the hit? DIrks suddenly a tough guy cuz he has a cut elbow and still shot a foul shot? LAndry got shot last year and came back but i’ma call dirk tough because of that? please, until dude does something big in the playoffs or gets in someones face or gets a big rebound or hey even cuts his Ican’t believe its not butter hairdo he will always be a softie.

    Also to even make it like the sixers won because iverson wasn’t there is a joke. They won because rasheed got kicked out in the early second and the ghost of elton brand decided to make an apperance and college a few dollars of his contract. At this point in his carrer, eltons one good game a season is like the rich guy, who comes into work once in a while in a hawiian shirt, just to see how everyone else on the job is doin then leaves.

    @Q, Iverson was having his knee drained.

    @YW, actually it was jordan who said that to bird about how no white guy could ever guard him.

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs before Slamball

    wow i cant type on this stupid iphone

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    I know none of you guys are doctors (like someone posting) but sepsis is pretty darn serious. The mouth has lots of bacteria (hence: why some people take antibiotics before and after a dental appt), and if that bacteria gets in your blood stream it can be a bigger problem than winning or losing a game in december. Especially in the pussified NBA that we have now — it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  • Diego

    Man, Hawks just CRUSHED the Jazz last night. Final win was by 13, but Hawks up by 30 after 3, starters sit, and Hawks scrubs admittedly worse than Jazz scrubs give up 17 of the lead in 4th–although Teague has a block from behind on a Jazz breakaway that MUST make the Youtube rounds.

    Smoove crushed on Boozer, who seemed pretty cocky after 1st quarter, but that grin was wiped away after 3. Smith could have has a lot more steals–he had numerous tips–and assists (if his guys had hit some feeds). Smoove was all over the place; Horford too. Jazz had just no one physically in their league. Smith is playing like a man possessed.

    Deron Williams: 2 points. Hawks are scoring avg. killers. JJ has locked down and one-on-one smacked BRoy, Wade, Deron, etc., etc. this year. (And Bosh went for a total of 2 in one game against our big boys too.)

  • http://luckylester.com luckylester

    i hate basketball refs – carl landry is just chilling, minding his own business when dirk tromps in, elbows high, smashes landry’s mouth, and gets a fucking foul call – landry is obviously a rare basketball player, tough as shit, he walked over and spit his dentals into a towel.

    gilbert had a nice move where he big brother’d c.j. watson, just turned around, with the ball high, and shot a 10-footer off the backboard, no jump, nothing, just a “WTF are you going to do about it, move” loved it.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Houston up!
    I just love it when the Jazz lose!

    Shouldn’t it have been “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TOOTH!”

    Dirk has been playing well and even holding it down in 4th quarters well. Still he will be soft forever lets be real. Unless he gets into it with Z-Bo or Joel and clearly wins a fight like that.

    If Elton balls they would have still won with A.I. Elton still sour about not starting that first game Philly won.

    Bout time Arenas. Bout time!

  • http://dimemag.com eyes

    The Assassin may be dusting of his equipment. Please keep fueling the fire. More log anyone. Say 50 tonight agaisnt the Suns and a W. Arguably the most dangerous player in the league when he’s on. DONT FORGET THAT. A Gunner is someone who can’t shoot & just keeps jacking. If he continues his play there will be a shift in the east. Gilbert Gilbert Gilbert. The GREAT HIBACHI AGENT#0000000000.

    Last night games & performances were OFF THE CHAIN.
    From an overrated Chris Paul(LOL). Also if you watch closely after a mini shuffle for the Haters of Jennings. Mo Williams purposely hit his elbow causing the airball. Watch then comment. M.Redd its over champ. If Charlie Bell is your defensive stopper having to guard Kobe & Bron & you lose by a respective 4 points combined. The Bucks have a future BABY!!!!

    Chris Paul threw the legs was sick. Deron Move on the break. Nick young Jordan/Kobe HANGTIME. Last Night I loved the N.B.A. temporarily again. The Hawks are a fast tempo Point Guard away from the Finals. The Nuggets cannont win w/o Chauncey Billups.

  • Doug

    off subject has anyone had a chance to read that column espn put out on player of the decade? Specifically Ranger John and Ian? You might not want to because it’s a truthful article and you guys like to run from the truth.It names Kobe the player of the decade.Like I’ve told you goons Kobe is the best player in the L and has been…well…like ESPN say he has been for the past decade…80’s Magic and Bird…90’s MJ….2000-2010 Kobe…I’ve been saying this for quite sometime, now ESPN is in agreement.

  • Doug

    eyes be easy…I like Arenas…when he’s on top 10 most dangerous player in the L but there’s never been a logic argument that this cat is the most dangerous player in the L it’s anonymous that Kobe is the most dangerous player in the L for sometime,Gilbert has never been on this cats level as far is killer he had to be groomed into a killer,Kobe was born that way.

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    hawks killed the jazz. horrible game by all the starters.

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs before slamball

    @Doug, the simple fact that lebron is on the list let alone getting more fan votes than shaq and kg in the “player of the decade” debate shows how much it’s a joke. Lebron hasn’t even been in the league a decade. I’d put Wade on the list before him, at least he didn’t get swept in the finals and has a ring already.

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs before slamball

    @Doug, also Kobe was groomed too when he was a rookie with all the old laker vets. He had to grow into the role just like Gil. I do remember a young Kobe air balling game winning 3s and what not

  • johnsacrimoni

    That’s debatable, and it seems to be strictly Marc Stein’s opinion, not a roundtable. You could easily make a case for Kobe, Shaq, or Duncan although I personally feel that Shaq’s never being in shape and steep decline narrows it down to Kobe or Duncan. It’s almost too close to call for me.

  • http://www.makeyourfreethrows.com/blog Dan Dickau

    Is anyone else excited to see The Cavs give Phoenix its first home loss on Monday? Cause I sure am.

  • Boogie

    I really need to know why everywhere I read/hear about the Landry/Nowitzki incident people make it seem like Dirk took the brunt of it but survived. em… WTF? Landry was not moving, had his hands down and got SMACKED IN THE MOUTH BY DIRKS SWINGING ELBOWS. Oh no! Dirk’s arm hurts. CARL LOST HIS FREAKIN TEETH. You only get one extra set and carl just lost his…. So please that doesn’t make Dirk tough, it makes him a goon who can also get the superstar call. Henceforth he shall be known as “The Tooth Fairy”

    p.s I still think Dirk is one clutch mutha—-er, and I dont think he needs to be “hard” to play his game. BUT. He just elbowed a dude in the face and made him lose his front teeth.

  • Doug

    Bron42 aka Had Springs before slamball I think your confusing him having to wait his turn on historically winning franchise with him having to wait to be a killer. Kobe always had the killer instinct his execution just wasn’t even with his mindset at that time case and point being him shooting 3 air balls against the Jazz in the playoffs when he was a young buck…lot of rookies wouldn’t have the stones to shoot one shot with the game on the line in the playoffs much less on a historically winning team full of all-stars…he did that…his mindset was always kill and he always had ridiculous confidence in his game.

  • 2aa

    @ amar –

    sepsis is an extreme and atypical result of suffering a human bite wound…certainly not the typical case i’ve experienced.

    and yes, some of us are medical practioners.

  • Mavsgirl75

    Mary’s right, only the MASSIVELY IGNORANT continue to call Dirk “soft” and there are a few right here on these comments (ahem, Bron 42 or whatever the hell your name is)

  • “Tha Boddy” Agent Zero DMV Hero

    You all forget that Kobes early years were not all killer instinct cold as ice.Arenas has worked his way back and the coach is gonna let Arenas be Agent Zero once again.People keep thinking he is gonna turn into this Billups kinda player but Arenas is WAY BETTER!!!It’s like people comparing LeBron to Deng yeah Deng is a good player and in the right system can be a beast but LeBron is the man!!!Welcome back Arenas we missed you here in the DMV

  • dung

    well dirk was rolling around on the floor while carl landry was jus chillin like damn my teeth out again

  • baron

    Damn, Doug sounds like he’d swallow Kobe’s black mamba if he had the chance! Just what the world needs, more Kobe sack riders. I bet if he came to yer birthday party you’d cream on yer cake.

    Let’s suffice to say Kobe is the top Guard and Duncan is the top Big of the decade, and I really don’t see how that is even debatable.

    Duncan is STILL puttin’ in work even tho y’all byatches been saying he’s old and declining for like 3 years now. That is all.

  • Kyle

    Dirk acted like it was a big deal, cause he had some guy’s teeth in his arm. Pretty sure you could get plenty of diseases from that. And yeah, I know he’ll bang any skank, but American Psycho taught me that it’s hard for guys to get stds from chicks.

    Anyway, Dirk took a hard fall, and then hit one out of two freethrows with his lefthand. But of course, he can actually shoot with his lefthand unlike most other players in the NBA who aren’t lefthanded. He also shot them so he wouldn’t be forced to leave the game for good. He was made to miss the game, because of the X-rays, and removal of Landry’s grill.

  • Kyle

    And Dirk isn’t soft, he’s smart. How many games has he missed compared to most other guys in the league? He’s one of the most durable power forwards in the league.

    The only time he actually played “soft” was when Golden State destroyed them in the first round. But his father was having invasive surgery(notice how Dirk didn’t mention it?) Guys like Jordan after being roughed up by the Jazz have said, “I’ve had a high fever.”

    Or Pierce will fake being hurt for real, and run back 45 seconds later to play a game. And somehow that’s considered a big deal.

  • baron

    well he may not be soft but damn he looks like the geico dude, and you ain’t changin my mind. i can’t stand his tongue wag either.

    he ain’t as soft as say, pau gasol

  • Roman

    Lebron and the Cavs are gonna get a west coast arse whoopin. Starting off with Dallas-

    Dirk Nowinsky is soft- anytime you lose to an 8th seed, your soft.

  • charlie


    dirk is only soft compared to the toughest players in the nba.

    like landry who, just walked to the sideline and spit his teeth into a towel.

  • http://dime eyes

    The seed had nothing to due with the talent on the court. Dallas were outmatched & GState had more talent and peaked at the right time. The match-ups were in there favor. To Dirk credit it would have been an upset if they won. People who watch & know basketball would have guessed it was going to a different series than the seeding would allow you to believe. As they say some teams are a contenders on paper. That roster could have beaten anyone in the league. BDiddy,JRich,SJackson,Ellis,Biedrins,Harringtong were an excitng crew to watch. It felt like the old days. Again were trying to get away from having actual skill today’s. It all about the Hype Machine. Where because I say you’re great means everything.

    Also Dirk isn’t soft. His game just relies heavily on the perimiter and he isn’t a banger nor does he look for contact. He still arguably one of the Greatest to lace em up. Like Bird in his prime on O’side. Bird did more but as far as shooting & being a mismatch. Dirk is one of the best. He’s a big reason Dallas has been a winning franchise for so long. There like Stockton’s Utah Jazz with out the 2 punch. Always running into a better team. To no fault of theirs. He along with Cuban have been the 1 constant who gave it their all. Everynight. Wish there were more players like Dirk in the league and the same could be said about a owner like Mark. Great people for our league. I hope one day they do win a championship. This yr they stand a good chance of making the Western Conf. Finals. Also Dallas won with the trade for kidd. Devin Harris isn’t a point guard and overachieved last yr. He isn’t an ALL STAR & his inability to make others better are a big reason the NETS ARE WHERE THEY ARE KNOW. Think a young Stephon Marbury w/o the jumpshot.

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