- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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You thought Americans didn't give Dirk Nowitzki his due?
It took Nowitzki carrying the Mavericks to the 2011 title, earning the Finals MVP award in the process, for him to be recognized as one of the all-time great players in NBA history. He shattered the soft Euro stereotype with clutch moment after clutch moment during the Mavs' magical championship run.
Now, Americans give Nowitzki the kind of respect fit for a man who has earned 11 All-Star invitations, an MVP and a Finals MVP. In our part of the world, he's considered unquestionably the best European basketball product ever, as well as one of the elite power forwards of all-time.
Apparently, Europeans aren't quite as enamored with Nowitzki. A HoopsHype.com survey of 38 Eurobasket players ranked Nowitzki as fifth among the all-time best Euro ballers.
Bodiroga, a Serbian, never played in the NBA. Petrovic, Parker and Sabonis have a combined 25,007 NBA points -- 44 fewer than Nowitzki.
Clearly, the players based their votes primarily on accomplishments in international ball. Nowitzki dragging Germany to the 2008 Olympics apparently wasn't that impressive.