Norv Turner revels in Nowitzki's success

June, 20, 2011
6/20/11
12:50
PM ET
San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner has obviously heard the knock on him. He can’t win the big game.

Well, Turner just received some inspiration, showing him that perception can change. In a fascinating column by Tim Sullivan in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Turner had some eye-opening comments about the joy he received watching Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks get over the hump and finally win the NBA title this month. Until he won the title, Nowitzki had a reputation for not being able to finish the job.

“Perception can be a lot of different things and it’s not necessarily right,” Turner said. “I loved it with Dirk because the perception was for so many years that he was too soft, that [the Mavericks] can’t win the big game.

“Well, they haven’t been in position to win the big game. Maybe for a number of years they were beaten by the best team in basketball and that kept them from winning the big game. But now the guy goes out and plays great and they put together a heck of a team and they go out and win a championship. Now, [Nowitzki’s] perception has completely changed.

“The reality hasn’t changed. He’s the same guy he’s always been. He might be a little better right now than he was at some point. He may have a better supporting cast. Maybe they didn’t have to beat the Lakers when the Lakers were at their best. So it’s timing and all that.”

It's clear Turner is aware of perception and it is clear he wants nothing more than to join Nowitzki in the winner’s circle soon.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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