For anyone that missed the game between the Mavs and the Trailblazers, welp sorry but you missed a great one! Dirk Nowitzki showed again as Mark Followill would say, he is and always will be Dirk No-witz-ki! Nowitzki became the fourth player in NBA history to score 40 points at 37 years old joining the elite club of Karl Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan as the only other players to accomplish such a feat.
Nowitzki had it all going for him, the trailing 3 point shot, driving to the basket and of course the signature one-legged fadeaway. Dirk once again put the team on his back and helped carried the team to another OT win in a much-needed win to stay in the playoff hunt. This was vintage Dirk who plays these days more so for the thrill of competition and having moments like this past Sunday when he turns back the clock and drops FOURTY!
This Mavericks team doesn’t have a realistic shot to win a championship this season but that doesn’t mean making the playoffs doesn’t mean something to Nowitzki, the ultimate professional who still has fun out on that basketball court. Anyone notice that stare down on that last made 3 pointer in overtime by the Big German? Dirk is still having fun out there and as long as it’s fun he’ll keep on raining down 3’s for his teammates and the fans.
It’s a shame that Mark Cuban and the front office hasn’t done enough to make Nowitzki the second or even third best player on a championship contending team because Dirk is playing as good at the ripe age of 37 as anyone could hope for. His efficiency is still at a high level and he can still closeout a game like few others can, but he hasn’t been given the help he needs for a title run. Chandler Parsons, Wesley Matthews, and Deron Williams are all nice good players but none of them are the superstar or All-Star this Mavs team needs to pass on the torch too. We all wanted Parsons to be that guy and while I like Parsons more than most I don’t see a player that’s a superstar an NBA team needs to win a championship.
The fact that the Mavs had a chance to draft Giannis Antetokounmpo but instead traded down to get Shane Larkin and save a few bucks to TRY to sign Dwight Howard in free agency will always eat at me as I’m sure it will to the front office and most fans. Giannis looks to be well on his way to being a potential superstar in the near future that could’ve been the answer to all the Mavs problems. A player like Giannis who has been putting up triple double numbers the past couple weeks would have given Dirk a young star to pass the torch to while also helping this team immensely in the present and the future.
Instead this team has failed to build around Dirk in his twilight years and have essentially wasted the great performances Dirk has had not only this year but those of previous years as well, post championship.
There’s plenty of blame to go around in the Mavs front office but through it all Dirk doesn’t complain and works his butt off year round, 24/7 to stay competitive at the highest level. His work ethic on and off the court is impeccable, we don’t see the workouts he puts in and the meals he eats to keep his body right but just imagining it presents a wow aroma around the big German.
Dirk will never complain nor will he ever ask to be traded to a contender because it’s not in his character. His loyalty to this team and fan base is cemented and playing his whole career with the Mavericks means something to him no matter what some writers and radio tv personnel may scream and shout. The truth is Dirk is one of a kind and the Mavericks were lucky enough to have drafted him and Mavs fans have been lucky enough to watch and cheer for him.
The front office has done a subpar job of surrounding Dirk with All-Star players in their prime to help him win more rings and for that reason Dirk’s greatness is being wasted. He’s the Hero the Mavs needed but not the one it deserved.