Dirk Nowitizki has finally accomplished his ultimate goal by winning his first NBA title, after 13 seasons of hard work and determination. With a 4-2 final series victory over the Miami Heat, people will start to ask: Where does Dirk rank all-time?
Nowitzki is hands-down the most athletic seven-footer in NBA history. He has helped pave the way for international players that have come into the league in recent years, and ones that aspire to play professional basketball in the future.
But here is the problem with Dirk: How do you rate him, where do you rate him and how do you define him?
Dirk technically is a power forward, but he changed the way you look at a power forward and the way that they play. Dirk’s height would make you automatically think he's a post player, but then you see him on the floor and the way he plays. The way he can shoot you would think he should be about 6’4" playing shooting guard.
He’s always been labeled as soft and maybe that’s because when he came into the league their was no other seven-footer playing the game the way he does. Dirk is an NBA MVP, has career averages of 23 PPG, 8.4 RPG, is an 87 percent free-throw shooter and has a 38 percent 3PT shooting percentage.
Now, after defeating LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat, Dirk is this year's NBA Finals MVP. He earned this award by carrying his team to a title almost single-handedly during the most crucial moments.
Sure, he had Jason Terry to knock down some big threes and Tyson Chandler who has been a monster down low, however, Dirk has been the centerpiece of this team and is essential to the franchise's success.
Dirk Nowitzki is unquestionably the best foreign-born player in NBA history, but where does he rank all-time in NBA history. Top 20, Top 10? Honestly, who knows.
A player like Dirk cannot be defined or compared to any others because there has never been another individual like him in NBA history and who knows if there ever will be. Dirk is a first-ballot Hall of Famer that has solidified his worth and value to his team and the league as a whole.
I’m sure that if you ask Dirk where he thinks he ranks all-time in NBA history his answer would be: "Who cares, I'm an NBA champion."
Written by Ryan Doyle of Unfamiliar Luminary (Twitter)-@musicalluminary