Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 3:45 pm  |  37 responses

Out for Justice

Dirk Nowitzki plays at edge of the law.

Photo by Pier Nicola D’Amico
Originally published in SLAM 109

Dirk Nowitzki was supposed to weather the storm that was the ’06-07 Golden State Warriors. Instead, that year’s MVP saw his season washed away by the 8-seed, and the Mavs haven’t been as dominant since. Dirk’s still standing as tall as ever, though, trying to help the Mavs emerge in a seemingly eternally cluttered Western Conference.—Adam Fleischer

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  • The D Train

    Let me defend Dirk before all the venom is spewed his way: he’s awesome. Thank you.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Co-sign D.

  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    As good as he is, he’ll never bring a championship to Dallas.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    I’d love to see him get a ring before the curtain closes on his career, I don’t trust Mark Cuban to surround him with the players he needs though.

  • The D Train

    Mo, you might be right. I hope not, but I think Wade and Bennett Salvatore took care of his best chance. Realistically, Dirk has to be considered a second tier superstar. The list of guys that have “brought” a championship to their respective teams since MJ left: Kobe, KG, Duncan, Wade, Shaq, and…well, that’s it. Detroit with Sheed and Chauncey is the only team that didn’t have a legitimate superstar, but they did have 4 all-stars that year, or the year after. So he’s not in the top 5 greatest over the last decade, but he’s definitely been a top 10 guy. I think he catches too much flak for not being a Kobe-type killer, but for all the sh1t he catches for the GS series a few years ago (and they were an absolute match-up nightmare for Dallas) and getting pushed around by K-Mart, people seem to forget him leading Dallas into a Game 7 in San Antonio and putting up a measly 37 and 15 to win in OT. He’s teamed with an aging Jason Kidd, a broken down Josh Howard and a streaky jump shooter(JT), so yeah, he might not ever win a title, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a first ballot Hall of Famer like Malone, Stockton, Ewing, Barkley, etc.

  • Dallas J


  • http://www.sonicbids.com/shaemorin doyouwantmore

    Someone give this guy a good center to work with and watch what happens.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    GREAT Cover. Dirk is the man, no doubt. (ok, do your best Slamonline Dirk-Basher section)

  • ericmotross

    People were saying the same thing about Garnett/Pierce a few years ago. They have a good squad this year and have money to throw around next summer. A few moves and they are back in the hunt.

  • JoeMaMa

    Dirk’s ex:
    She plays beyond the confines of the law.

  • http://realcavsfans.com Anton

    I see his ex-gf in the shadows

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    You do? i see Rosario Dawson.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    Watchout trash cans. Dirk is lethal with that right front kick.
    Did enjoy his changing of the guard game. Every 7 footer wants to shoot threes but nobody is, or will be Dirk Nowitzki. Better playoff results and longevity than a Peja or Hedo, but he might never get back there to rectify and turnaround his reputation as non-clutch at the pinnacle of NBA basketball.
    On pure spectacle & entertainment alone, those Dallas v. Phoenix games were must see TV. Or Dallas v. Spurs, playoff series if you were a Mavs fan when Dirk finally got over that hump.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    Here’s a question that needs answering. Does Darksaber use the “Dirk Diggler” handle, SUPERFREAK (other SLAM cover), or his own nicknames?

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Oh come on, insanegenius, Bling. Don’t start with me.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    I’m asking seriously, you have my confirmation on that.

  • davidR

    he was straight ballin in the series loss to denver. 34, 10, and 3, on 53% fg% and 92% ft%. ridiculous. cuban needs to find this dude some real help

  • rog123

    Best player in the state of tx. He needs to play for dantoni and he will avg 33 ppg

  • rog123

    Imagine dirk and nash together again in nyc

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    I don’tbquite get the query, Blinguo. Care to rephrase for those of lesser fenius level intellect? Hehe.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Bloody Iphone…

  • http://mbenga-mblog.blogspot.com/ vmcb

    Watching Dirk drain mid-range jumpers is pure beauty. Beaaaaauty.

  • tavoris

    co-sign vmcb…has there EVER been a player who scores so consistently without any creativity in the post or off the dribble? Dirk LIVES on the mid-post, and there isn’t anything anybody can-or will-do about it.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    What nicknames do you use for Dirk, Darksaber?
    Were the SLAM created ones: “Superfreak” & “Dirk Diggler” okay by you?
    Do you use those or have your own, possibly cooler ones. Those nicknames were made quite a while ago. Would just be fun to hear any more for him. (but not “Jose Barea – Mexican smurf” which is facepalm worthy for those clueless Dallas announcers)

  • http://dfsjklf.com Jukai

    Blinguo, SLAM has never made a good nickname for a player.
    Dirk’s nicknames are Dirty and The Flying Dutchman. That be it.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    Calling MJ “Money,” I guess they didn’t invent that one, but helped its popularity in print.
    Didn’t they have a hand in the Tim Duncan Robot metaphors though?
    Damon “Basketball” Jones didn’t help his career, but it surely didn’t hurt it either, he did that all on his own.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    And I would hope people start using J-5 more than that crappy won’t go away axiom, J-Ho.

  • Kevin

    I don’t think you call him a second tier star simply because he doesn’t have a ring. KG needed Pierce to lead the team in the finals and Kobe never won without Gasol or Shaq both of whom are better than anyone Dirk has played with. Even Shaq has had to have a top 5 player on his team to win a finals. Dirk made the finals with the second best player being Jason Terry, JASON TERRY! So I guess tier 1 is just Duncan than.

  • rog123

    When u win mvp of the nba with guys like kobe garnett duncan james wade nash ai u gotta be good. Good enough to lead a team to a title.

  • rog123

    BTW, garnett is the mvp of the celtics. Impossible they win w\o him. W\o allen they can still win. Without pierce they can still win. But we all saw the playoffs last year.

  • rog123

    We are also witnessing the end of what could be the greatest combination of pfs in league history. Kg, dirk, duncan, sheed, camby, k-mart, jermaine o, z-bo, brand. I think that’s all of them. All these guys had their shine, but are sadly on the decline. Maybe dirk is still at his peak but not likely to last.

  • reidar

    agree, lot of strong PFs this decade. not to forget amare, bosh and pau as well….

    What i wonder, is why the four is so stacked while the five is so thin? Did Shaq frighten them all to play the four?

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty


  • rog123

    Centers are praised too much when they still in hs so they won’t work as hard as other players who are of average nba size

  • reidar

    Yeah, agree with that too a certain point rog123, but many of the best PF are seven footers as well. One would expect them to receive a lot of attention and praise as well. That has not stopped us from seeing some of the most well trained and fundamentally sound big men ever, but they just do not play the five….

  • reidar

    Yeah, agree with that too a certain point rog123, but many of the best PF are seven footers as well. One would expect them to receive a lot of attention and praise as well. That has not stopped us from seeing some of the most well trained and fundamentally sound big men ever, but they just do not play the five….

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