Since a inconspicuous trade during the 1998 draft, Dirk Nowitzki has been the heart and soul of the Dallas Mavericks. Consistently good for so long, Dirk Nowitzki recently became the 8th all time leading scorer in NBA history. This is just one more laurel awarded to the sweet shooting big man from Germany. Career perception can be a funny and frustrating thing. Dirk revolutionized the power forward position and yet, he’s still not given his due.
His biggest moments have always been overshadowed by something or someone else. Despite the Mavericks winning 67 games and clinching home court throughout the 2006-2007 post-season, the No. 1 seed Mavs were ousted by the No. 8 seed Golden State Warriors in six games. In a cruel twist of irony, he was named the 2006-2007 NBA MVP. A MVP being crowned on his couch is not a familiar sight and looks as awkward as it sounds. Labeled as soft, Dirk became the epicenter for the disdain of international players coming into the NBA. Dirk came into the NBA unheralded, so it’s only appropriate his crowning achievement was barely acknowledged. 2011 was supposed to be another rinse and repeat year for the Mavs; win 50 games, get to the second round and lose. LeBron James came into the NBA Finals ready to be crowned king but Dirk Nowitzki crashed the coronation and took the crown.
However, the story was not about Dirk and the Mavs storming the stronghold. It was about LeBron James becoming Ant-Man and shrinking. Dirk Nowitzki just can’t get any respect but his imprint on the game is massive. Today the three point shooting, stretch power forward is a necessity. A near 7-footer like Kevin Durant handling the ball doesn’t inspire much awe. Someday Dirk Nowitzki will be noticed, he is 7-feet tall.