Dallas Mavericks: Arvydas Sabonis

Dirk Nowitzki dissed by Europeans

September, 18, 2013
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.

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.

Dirk Nowitzki named Europlayer of the year

January, 12, 2012
Add one more accolade to Dirk Nowitzki's growing list: “La Gazzetta dello Sport Europlayer 2011.”

This one comes from one of the biggest newspapers in Europe -- La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy. The Dallas Mavericks forward takes home the Europlayer of the year award for a sixth time, sharing this one with Galatasaray Istanbul’s Alba Torrens.

Nowitzki is now tied with Lithuania ’s Arvydas Sabonis for most ever. Nowitzki had won five in a row from 2002 to 2006 and is now tied with Lithuania ’s Arvydas Sabonis for most ever. 

Dirk collected 198 points and finished ahead of Spain ’s Juan Carlos Navarro (151) and Greece ’s Dimitris Diamantidis (86).

Votes came from among 168 writers, players, coaches and general managers from 35 countries.

Dirk takes backseat to Staubach, Sabonis

June, 8, 2011

DALLAS -- Compared to Roger Staubach, Dirk Nowitzki comes up short. Arvydas Sabonis? Nowitzki doesn't quite measure up.

You think it's tough to be LeBron James these days, Nowitzki couldn't catch a break Wednesday afternoon. Well, maybe LeBron is feeling a little more heat being Miami's second (third?) banana.

Nowitzki, on the other hand, is basking in an unprecedented level of appreciation for not shrinking in Game 4 despite a triple-digit fever and his overall play leading the Dallas Mavericks back to the NBA Finals. But when compared against a pair of all-time greats, Nowitzki's point guard and general manager gave the Uberman the shaft.

Jason Kidd was asked if Nowitzki, the Mavs' unquestioned closer, was forging a reputation akin to Staubach, the Dallas Cowboys' two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

"Roger was one of a kind," Kidd said of Captain Comeback. "It's hard to compare Dirk and Roger, but hopefully at the end of his career he'll be able to be in the same sentence as Roger."

In a discussion of the best Europeans to ever play the game, Donnie Nelson sided with Sabonis. The Mavs GM does have close ties to the Lithuanian Hall-of-Fame center -- Nelson was an assistant on Lithuania's national team -- but Nowitzki wouldn't be in Dallas if it wasn't for the "Little Whistle."

Still ...

"If it's Dirk and Sabas -- Dirk in his prime and Sabas before his injury -- if I'm a general manager and I'm taking the first pick in the country, I'm sticking with the big guy, Sabas," Nelson said.


Don't forget the flu-game comparisons from Tuesday night with Michael Jordan. Yeah, Dirk loses that one, too.



Dirk Nowitzki
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
ReboundsD. Nowitzki 6.2
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9