On our last podcast, we previewed the NBA by giving our Finals Preview, MVP and Coach of the Year.
Before we get too far into the NBA, I just like to say I change my pick for Coach of the Year from Rick Carlisle to Doc Rivers. The reason for change is not because the Mavs dropped their opener to the Spurs but simply because I wasn’t thinking straight when I made my pick on the podcast.
Rivers is going to take the Clippers deep into the playoffs, and because of issues the Clippers faced at the end of last season, it would be a great feel-good story. It’s obvious Rivers knows what he’s doing and he has the championship rings from Boston to prove it. He’s has the team to add to hardware this year too.
At any rate, my Finals pick is San Antonio again over the Cleveland Cavs. I see the Spurs defeating the Clippers to get to the Finals and the Cavs defeating the Bulls with LeBron James being named league MVP.
As for the Mavs, owner Mark Cuban has brought the band back together from the 2011 Championship team by bringing Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea back. The big addition was Chandler Parsons but the club also brought in Richard Jefferson.
If this team was in the East, there’s no question in my mind they’d be favored to win the conference but since they’re in the West, it’ll likely be a dogfight with several teams, particularly with the defending champion Spurs.
Dirk Nowitzki is a legend. If there were a real Mount Rushmore of Dallas sports, one would be hard pressed not to include him on there, but that’s a debate for another time. There’s no debate that Nowitzki is beloved by Dallas and he has returned that love. He could’ve made way more money playing elsewhere but he decided to stay in Big D.
To me, there’s no debate that he’s the best foreign player of all time. His desire to win and his willingness to make those around him are second to none.
It’s easy to see he has fun doing what he does. He’s often referred to as a goof ball because of all the joking around he does and his love for David Hasselshoff as he sings Looking for Freedom. Truth is though, the giant German knows when to turn it off and be serious on the court.
In his book, The Book of Basketball, Bill Simmons writes, “He’s the most unstoppable player in basketball, a true franchise guy…”
That describes Dirk to a “T”. Granted, most people probably won’t even have him in their top 10 players current players but that’s one thing that makes him underrated. His jumper with the knee out is a hard shot to stop, especially when it’s being taken by a 7-footer who’s spot on.
He’s currently the 10th all-time scoring leader in NBA history and he’s working his way up the list.
He was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in 1998 and has stayed with the Mavs his entire career. He helped the Mavs win their first NBA finals in 2011 (and should’ve been a champ in 2006 if it weren’t for the men in stripes). He was named NBA MVP in 2007, he’s a 12-time All Star, the 2006 NBA 3-point shooter (keep in mind his height) and he’s still not done.
When all said and done however, hopefully the Mavs will have a statue of him outside the American Airlines Center. Where exactly his place in the history books remains to be seen and debated. There are some things not up for debate though; Dirk is a first ballot Hall of Famer and the best player to ever wear No. 41.