Lately, I’ve been making an effort to shy away from national sports subjects, focusing instead on TCU teams and athletes worthy of commentary. It’s gone pretty well, I think. But now the course of current events – plus the public outcry of my handful of readers – has forced me to offer my opinion on a much less local topic.And, as disgusting as I feel admitting it, even this has a homegrown theme: Mavericks fans, rejoice, because Dirk Nowitzki is my choice for the 2005-2006 season NBA Most Valuable Player.
If you know me, you know I’m a Rockets fan, and that I hate the Mavericks with an unprecedented passion. You know that the only thing I hate more than the Mavericks is their international leader, Nowitzki. And you know that this hurts me way worse than it hurts Kobe or LeBron.
But you can’t fight the truth, and the fact of the matter is that the Big German has been the most indispensable player on the hardwood in every game he’s been in. Kobe can drop 81, true, but no one is more impossible to guard than Dirk. He moves – albeit a little awkwardly – like a small forward instead of a 7-footer. He can drive the lane and, more importantly, finish despite contact. And his shot comes off very high and very quick, making him unguardable for even the most accomplished perimeter defenders.
Even the biggest knock against Dirk since day one, his defense, has improved dramatically. He’s not only averaging nine rebounds a game, but a block, too. And the only thing worse than getting 30 points dropped on you at one end is having Dirk swat your shot into the front-row seats at the other one.
Yes, the Mavericks probably could have made the playoffs without Nowitzki because of their depth and athleticism, but don’t fool yourself by thinking that Dirk hasn’t been good for at least 10 wins this season. Even if Dallas could have hit the 60-win mark without him, San Antonio would have crushed them in the playoffs. Instead, I already have Dallas penciled in for the NBA finals.
And all because of the Big German.
Sports editor Travis Stewart is a junior broadcast journalism major from Sugar Land.