Saturday, May 7, 2011
It must be hard for superstar players already playing at a high level to kick it up another notch. But that's exactly what Dirk Nowitzki has done this playoffs. I've always been frustrated with the league and media's treatment of Dirk. He's a superstar folks, plain and simple. Call him choker all you want for what happened in the 06 Finals, but once upon a time actually for the whole decade of the 90's the Mavericks were the LAUGHINGSTOCK of the entire league. They managed to screw up draft after draft and when they finally did seem to have a young nucleus of talent with Jim Jackson, Jason Kidd, and Jamal Mashburn, the traded them all away and were always back to square one. Then came the 98 draft, where they took heralded college superstar Robert "Tractor' Traylor. Of course minutes later they would trade his draft rights for some German kid who had a nice showing at the Nike Hoops Summit named Dirk Nowitzki. I thought to myself...Who??????? Why would you trade a guy with an established pedigree for some foreign German kid who's probably not ready to play in the NBA?? Typical Mavs blunder!!! Yeah it was definitely one of the most lopsided trades of all time.....in the Mavs favor that is. Dirk had an uneventful rookie season (which was strike shortened as well) but quickly through his hard work and dedication to the game stepped his game up and not only became a great player for the Mavs but a great player in the league period. Him, Nash, and Michael Finley turned this losing franchise around, and soon enough the Mavs were fixtures in the playoffs and title contention. It was after Nash and Finley left, that the Mavs made the finals, in fact beating both the Spurs and Suns (Finley and Nash's teams respectively) on the way to face the Heat. Dirk IS the Mavs. While everyone else was abandoning ship and forming super teams in Miami and New York, Dirk quietly signed his contract extension with Dallas, because he's loyal to the team that gave him his start, and he wants to win in Dallas. He wants to bring the Mavs a title, because they are HIS team, and this is HIS city. Yet you don't hear a peep from the media about that. In my opinion Dirk is one of the most under appreciated players ever, people always try to knock him for something, "he's too soft". Well maybe Dirk's tired of year after year hearing the critics bash him, because he's been anything but soft this playoffs. I truly hope Dirk and the Mavs bring Dallas a title and I hope it happens this year, cause it looks like the cards are in place. This is an early issue autograph of Dirk from 00-01 Fleer Autographics. Dirk really doesn't have too much out there as far as certified autographs go, until recently with Panini so having an on-card auto is even better. Here's hoping Dirk has silenced the critics once and for all and that he gets the proper respect that other MVP's get. It's wayyyyy overdue.