Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki is an All-Star in 2019, and it is a well-deserved honor after being snubbed in the voting on multiple occasions.
Nowitzki will be participating this year because NBA commissioner Adam Silver made him a special addition to the All-Star roster. He will come off the bench for Team Giannis.
Many people view Dirk’s inclusion in the All-Star game as a token honor in his (likely) last season in the league. However, it should be viewed as past due recognition for a player who was often doubted and overlooked in the prime of his career.
Despite his impressive body of work, Dirk Nowitzki has never been voted in as an All-Star starter. He was often overshadowed by players like Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. While those guys are undoubtedly great players, it is still perplexing that Nowitzki could never get the votes to be a starter on the Western Conference All-Star team, given his level of success.
Nowitzki led the Dallas Mavericks to over a decade of 50-win seasons and the franchise’s first NBA championship in 2011. He was also near the top of the league in scoring and free throw percentage during his prime.
Even though Nowitzki showed time and time again that he was one of the league’s best players, he was often maligned as a soft European jump shooter who couldn’t play defense.
Dirk was judged unfairly because his team often underperformed in the NBA playoffs. However, the Dallas Mavericks’ lack of success reflected more on his lack of a supporting cast than it did on Nowitzki.
Nevertheless, Nowitzki was doubted and questioned until he carried Dallas to a championship victory over Miami and “The Big Three.” Dirk’s 2011 championship silenced the doubters, but his career before that was more than enough to garner respect.
While the past can’t be undone, there is always a chance to make things right today. Dirk Nowitzki was undoubtedly underappreciated during the prime of his career. In fact, he may go down as one of the most undervalued players in the league’s history.
Adam Silver’s decision to honor him with a special roster spot in this year’s All-Star game doesn’t come close to making up for all of the snubs over the years, it is a good start. Dirk Nowitzki is one of the best players to ever play in the NBA, and he deserves to be recognized.