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Dirk's Legacy Can't be Measured by Championships

by Photo of Nick Gilbert

Dirk Nowitzki revolutonized the game of basketball. Whether or not he wins a ring is irrelevant.

Dirk's Legacy Can't be Measured by Championships


Barkley, Stockton, Malone, Ewing, Iverson. Not a bad list, right? Would you have believed it if someone told you on draft night 13 years ago that you could mention Dirk Nowitzki in the same breathe as these guys when it was all said and done? If the Miami Heat go on to win the 2011 NBA championship, Nowitzki could very well go down as one of the best players in NBA history not to win an NBA title, along with the afore mentioned players above. The truth is that the NBA is a league of parity. Especially with ring-hogs like Kobe, Shaq, and Duncan dominating the league for over a decade, not all of the great ones can get that elusive championship.

Many consider this to be Nowitzki’s last legitimate shot at a title after the epic 2-0 lead collapse against the Miami Heat in 2006. Many also believe that if he fails to do so, his legacy will be somewhat tarnished. I for one am not buying this notion. The career of Dirk Nowitzki has been nothing short of innovative and unique. In the long history of the NBA, there has never been a player like him. 7 footers aren’t supposed to be able to do what Nowitzki is capable of; whether it’s his unlimited shooting ranger or his one-legged fall away bank shots with a defender draped all over him.

Nowitzki is the best European NBA player of all time, bar none. Sometimes facts like these just simply can’t be ignored just because he may not get over the championship hump. For a player like LeBron James, an NBA championship should be regarded as a necessity in terms of measuring legacies. When expectations are set so high right out of high school, by the media, or by the player himself guaranteeing, “not 5, not 6, not 7…” championships the bar must be raised higher.

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Nowitzki shouldn’t be held to the same standards as most other players, because in essence what he’s done for the league over his 13 year career so far is bigger than winning titles. Players like Dirk should be commended for expanding the NBA overseas and for revolutionizing the game to where it stands today. In most cases, NBA championships rule all when it comes to defining a player’s legacy. In Dirk Nowitzki’s case, it just simply doesn’t do justice.

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