Separating Dirk Nowitzki from other all-time greats: 1. Winning title as lone star
Nowitzki willed the Dallas Mavericks to a championship in 2011, but it was never easy. They finished second in their division and third in the Western Conference during the regular season.
The Mavs knocked out a tough Portland in the first round of the playoffs before sweeping the two-time defending champion Lakers. Dallas moved on to a tough series against the Thunder featuring Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka in the conference finals before defeating the “Big 3” Miami Heat to win the title.
Dallas had a talented team that season, but Dirk was the only star player in his prime. Hall of Famer Jason Kidd was the starting point guard, but he was 37 years old in 2011. Kidd was the only other Maverick to finish in the top ten at his position in All-Star voting that year.
Dirk Nowitzki nearly lead the Mavs to a championship in 2006, so to see him get it done in 2011 by defeating a superteam created through free agency took him to another level. It cemented Dirk was not only an all-time great but one of the 15 best players in NBA history. It separated him from other legends.
Fans will not want to miss the Jan. 5 game as the Dallas Mavericks retire Dirk Nowitzki’s number 41. It will be a special and emotional night as supporters get to honor the franchise’s GOAT one more time, so be sure to tune in and enjoy.