Why Dirk Nowitzki is the Most Valuable Player in the NBA

DeRod HaffordContributor IMarch 3, 2010

I'm so sick of Dirk Nowitzki not getting the credit he deserves. People compare him to young players who turn the ball over too much, miss tons of games,never took their team to the finals and don't impact the game anywhere near the way that Dirk does.

Dirk would have a ring if he had his current team back in the 2006 NBA Finals, come on. Miami's strongest positions were Dallas' weakest positions. Wade at shooting guard was too much for their guards, and O’Neal at center was too much for Dampier. Even with all those mismatches the Mavs lost 3 games by a total of 6 points. Brendan Haywood will end up being the best center in Mavericks history. 


Kobe Bryant had Shaquille O’Neal putting up 29 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game( MVP in all 3 championships). Dwyane Wade had O’Neal putting up 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. Dirk had Dampier putting up a stellar 5 points 7rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game.

 Please tell me the reliable players that the Mavs have had besides Dirk? I don't mean the ones who live off of wide open jump shots from Dirk screens and double teams no, I'm talking about the ones who can drive the ball and create their own shot like Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili. I can think of only Steve Nash (4 healthy seasons) and Josh Howard(3 almost healthy seasons)they never got to play together since Nash was traded. Again no shooting guard or center.

    Now, name all the teams who have won a championship with no true shooting guard or center that averages nowhere near a double double. Then I want you to tell me who else has lead a team mostly filled with underachievers to the finals and to the playoffs 10 out of 12 (all 50+ wins)seasons with less than what Dirk has had to work with?
When Shaq played for the Lakers he was the best player in the NBA but, then he left thanks to Kobe and his giant ego.
Then, when Shaq went to Miami what did he do? He won Wade a ring to and what did Kobe do? He didn't even make the playoffs the next season,and he still had Caron Butler,and Lamar Odom. Which is more help than Dirk has ever had until the Mavs trade. The Lakers must have thought a lot of Dirk to offer Dallas Shaq for him
Kobe  career playoff stats 25ppg 5.0rpg 4.7apg 1.4spg 0.7bpg FG 44.7% FT 81% 2.9 TO's

Dirk career playoff stats 25.5ppg 11rpg 2.6apg  1.2spg 1.0bpg FG 45.4% FT 88% 2.1 TO's

Dirk has only missed 29 games in 11 seasons—that’s only 2.4 per season!

LeBron James has missed 22 games in 7 seasons -3.1 per season

Kobe Bryant has missed 76 games in 11 seasons.(adj.for NBA lockout)

Dwyane Wade has missed 102 games in 7 seasons.

Carmelo Anthony has missed 60 games in 7 seasons.

Talent means nothing if it’s not on the court helping your team win. While the above players are on the sidelines watching the game, Dirk is doing work.

Dirk is 2nd behind only LeBron in most 4th quarter points
Since 05-06, Nowitzki owns the most game-winners (put team ahead for good in final 2 seconds) of any player in the NBA.

Also,Dirk doesn't care about stats as much as he does winning which explains why his post-season stats are  higher than his regular season stats.

He knows that he won't have much help in the post season. So on nights against teams with losing records where some players are trying to pad their stats Dirk just takes it easy and lets his teammates gain confidence since with him just being on the floor draws so much attention. Now,if they fall behind he will be there to save the day.

Since Dirk entered the starting lineup, the Mavericks have made the playoffs 10 out of 11 seasons. Dirk gets double and triple-teamed in the playoffs because teams know nobody else will step up for the Mavericks, yet he still puts up big numbers. Dirk is a nightmare matchup for opposing teams, averaging 25.5 points and 11 rebounds in 97 career playoff games! Now try to tell me that Dirk isn't CLUTCH. 

The only other players to average at least 25 points and 10 rebounds for a playoff career are Bob Pettit, Hakeem Olajuwon, Elgin Baylor, and Shaquille O'Neal.


Dirk is one of the most consistent and humble players in the game. Dirk's career field goal percentage (47.3 percent) and free throw percentage (87.7 percent) are easily better than Kobe’s career numbers (45.5 percent and 83.9 percent, respectively).

I know some will say Dirk hasn't won a championship but I always thought that championships determine how good a TEAM is and not how good an individual player is.

NOBODY in the NBA can guard Dirk one-on-one, which is why he gets double and triple-teamed in the playoffs. People say Dirk doesn't play defense, yet he has averaged one steal and one block per game over his twelve year career. Dirk is the only player in NBA history to get 100 blocks and 150 three-pointers in a season, and the only player besides Larry Bird to shoot 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three, and 90 percent from the line, all while averaging over 24 points per game.

Dirk Nowitzki is severely underrated by people because he is a quiet guy and not flashy. Dirk's best teammate up to this point has been Josh Howard—a player that has missed significant time throughout his entire career due to injury, and has never played well in the fourth quarter anyway.

Dirk's ability to stretch out the defense and create easy shots for his teammates is severely underrated as well.

Jason Terry's FG% with Atlanta 42.5%

Jason Terry's FG% with Dallas 47%

Terry is scoring the same amount of points he did as a Hawk while playing a full four minutes less. Plus, Terry won the Sixth Man of the Year Award, largely thanks to Dirk.

Jason Kidd's 3pt% before Dallas 33.5%

Jason Kidd's 3pt% with Dirk 43%

Kidd, is also averaging career lows in turnovers thanks to Dirk stretching the floor and creating wider passing lanes

Dirk is one of the most efficient players in the game. Dirk averages 1.9 turnovers per game for a 12 year career while missing only 32 games.

Dirk was 3rd in the NBA this year for made free throws (Durant,James)

With Dirk luring his man away from the basket the paint is wide open but,
Dallas has never taken advantage of Dirk's ability by having enough guards who can created of the dribble or a Center that can score in the post. Devin Harris was a big factor in the 2006 playoffs but stayed in foul trouble and was traded for Kidd.

Dirk Nowitzki averages 1.8 tunovers per game

Kobe Bryant averages 3.0 turnovers per game

LeBron James averages 3.3 turnovers per game

Dwyane Wade averages 3.7 turnovers per game

Carmelo Anthony averages 3.1 turnovers per game

Dirk is so special because he puts up the around same numbers as these guys while shooting 48 percent from the field, 91.0 from the line, and turning the ball over less than ANY SUPERSTAR in the entire NBA.

The Mavericks are at the top for fewest turnovers in the NBA,and are the best free throw shooting team, plus the Mavericks are in second place in the Western Conference.

There is one thing that Dirk has become really good at that doing but doesn't show up on the stat sheets. When players are driving the ball he slaps the ball out of their hands. Now most of the time it goes out of bounce but it still has an impact on the game because of the shot clock and them having to reset the offense 
What will LeBron,Kobe,D-Wade,KD,and Melo do when their athletic ability diminishes?     
  Dirk will continue to be effective since he doesn't have to rely on his athleticism to be effective and create mismatches.
So he can be effective without having to even touch the ball thanks to his size and pure shooting ability.
Now, there you go. It’s time to give Dirk his props.
Watch the youtube clips of Dirk @ the bottom of the comments


    Arson Suspected at Bar Where Randolph's Brother Was Killed

    NBA logo

    Arson Suspected at Bar Where Randolph's Brother Was Killed

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    Top Prospect Jaren Jackson Jr Visits Mavs

    Dallas Mavericks logo
    Dallas Mavericks

    Top Prospect Jaren Jackson Jr Visits Mavs

    Dallas Mavericks
    via Dallas Mavericks

    NBA Auctioning JR's Gm 1 Jersey

    NBA logo

    NBA Auctioning JR's Gm 1 Jersey

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Would OKC Fans Welcome Back KD?

    NBA logo

    Would OKC Fans Welcome Back KD?

    Jon Hamm
    via Bleacher Report