Dirk Nowitzki dissed by Europeans
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.
The four ranked ahead of Nowitzki: Drazen Petrovic, Tony Parker, Arvydas Sabonis and Dejan Bodiroga.
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.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.