He may be the most valuable import Dallas has ever received. Another moniker you can add to Dirk Nowitzki’s resume is consistency. For 12 years, the German forward has quietly brought that to the Mavericks.
Standing at 7 foot tall, Dirk is tall enough to play center but versatility allows him to play the forward position. Dirk has averaged 24 points and a shade over 7 rebounds a season. He has made big shot after big shot for the Mavs over the years, and is one of the premier players in the NBA. You don’t really see alot of Dirk on the national level as far as superstar status, but the Mavs organization wouldn’t be where it is today without him.
Dirk was drafted 9th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1998 NBA draft and then traded to the Mavs. It was a move that got the ball rolling, allowing the Mavs to make 10 consecutive postseason appearances.
You could tell after seeing him playing ball in Europe the Mavs got a steal. During the Nike Hoops Hero tour, Dirk played as a teenager against NBA stars such as Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen. In a 30-minute show, Nowitzki outplayed Barkley and even dunked on him, causing Barkley to exclaim: “The boy is a genius. If he wants to enter the NBA, he can call me.” Once he did enter The Association, he became the franchise for Dallas.
The only thing lacking from Dirk’s resume is a world championship. The closest the Mavs have come was the 2006 NBA Finals, which they lost to the Miami Heat. Dallas has underachieved in their playoff appearances, and Dirk has received criticism for the way things have always ended. Fair or not, it’s hard to lay the blame solely on the one player who has been there for the team night in and night out.
Dirk is putting together a Hall of Fame career, a 9-time All Star and the 2007 MVP award among his accolades. I feel he may go unappreciated, both in DFW and throughout the league. Once he hangs up the sneakers, Mavs Nation will then sit back and realize the magic they witnessed over the years.
He is the 34th player in NBA history, and the first European to hit the 20,000 point milestone. Dirk is also the Mavs all-time leader in points, rebounds, field goals and 3-pointers made. It has all flown under the radar, as Dirk is best described as low-key and unspoiled by money and fame. So while the hair style has changed over the years, the play hasn’t.
Dallas basketball can best be described with two words: Dirk Nowitzki.
Written by C. James