Dirk Nowitzki was one of the NBA's first "stretch fours", which was an innovative concept developed in part by Don Nelson.

"When I first got in the league. . .I think a lot of (power forwards) and (centers) were more back-to-back basket players."

Teams now often look for big men with the ability to stretch the floor to create space.

"I've got to give Nellie a lot of credit,'' Nowitzki said. "He was an offensive genius.

"He was a coach when I first got to Dallas, and if I would have gone to any other system I don't if I would have turned out that way.''