With the final buzzer of Sunday night’s game featuring the Dallas Mavericks’ historic 105-95 victory over the Miami Heat in the final game of the 2011 NBA Finals, several players receive their first NBA rings. And while it’s a memorable occasion for many, it’s a step forward into a truly elite circle for team star Dirk Nowitzki.
In his career, Nowitzki has averaged 23 points per game in over 1000 games over 13 seasons. In that time, he’s also averaged 8.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Along the way, he’s won one MVP Award (2007), played in 10 All-Star Games and played on 11 All-NBA Teams. In the process, he created hope for every European prospect along the way to become the next great NBA star.
While he was already in elite company, Nowitzki still had yet to take the next step into the inner circle of truly great NBA players. Like Kevin Garnett did two years ago with his first NBA Championship after coming over to the Boston Celtics, Nowitzki now makes good on his long tenure with the Dallas Mavericks. If there were any questions lingering about his Hall of Fame credentials, those are no longer being asked.
Now the only questions being asked about Dirk Nowitzki are about just how truly great he is. Despite a bad shooting night in Game 6, there’s no doubting his greatness in both this series and the 2011 playoffs.