Theory 3: Dirk’s Style of Play is Monotonous, Selfless, and Perfect
The truth behind this theory lies in the public’s desire to see a superstar. When LeBron James came to the league, he was surrounded by players like Anderson Varejao, Drew Gooden, Daniel Gibson, and my personal favorite, Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Obviously none of these players ever had big careers, which is a big reason why James gained in popularity.
Then, when things seemed to be on the right path for the Cavaliers, LeBron left the team for greener pastures. At that point, he got manhandled by the media because he was no longer going to be the lone superstar for his team. Of course the hate dissipated before long, but there is no denying that it was there for a time.
Now how does that tie in to Dirk? From what most Mavs fans have seen from Nowitzki, he has led the Mavs pretty single-handedly throughout his career. Their were stints with great players like Steve Nash (before his prime), Jason Kidd (after his prime), Tyson Chandler, and even Josh Howard, but none of these players slowed the focal point of the Mavs offense.
The big difference here is Dirk’s desires to do what is best for the team vs. LeBron’s desires to do what is best for himself. Dirk’s selflessness kept him out of the spotlight throughout his career. Being soft-spoken, light-hearted, and foreign were all things that contributed to the overlooking of Dirk Nowitzki’s career.
The other thing that comes to mind is Dirk is a pure shooter. He has not been known to get inside the key and battle in years and his dunks were frequent while he was young but each one seems like it could be his last at this point. This contributes in a big way because a big chunk of fans of the NBA would be looked at as casual fans.
These people generally want to see the “Sports Center Top 10” or the NBA’s “Dunks of the Week”. For Dirk to be sitting at the mid-range elbow hitting fadeaway jumpers over defenders a foot shorter than them, most people will change the channel to see Blake Griffin’s latest highlight real dunk.
Listen, the point of all of this is, Dirk Nowitzki has just found himself among the most elite players in NBA history, being only the 6th player ever to break 30,000 points. He may never get the recognition that he deserves, but MFFLs will always know that he has earned everything he has ever gotten. We love Dirk Nowitzki and he will always be the definition of a Maverick For Life.