Dirk Nowitzki retired an NBA champion – but he could have had a ring way before the 2011 victory.
Dirk Nowitzki was consistently one of the best players in the 00’s. He was really unlucky though, playing in one of the most competitive era of Western conference basketball.
Even through that, the Mavericks managed to make the finals in 2006, eventually losing out to the Miami Heat. That loss must have spurred the Texas natives. They ended up being the first seed in the West with the best overall record at 67-15 in 2006-07.
Nowitzki was the man leading from the front, averaging 24.6-3.7-8.9 across the stat sheet. These performances earned him his only regular season MVP.
All of these were brushed aside when the Mavericks had to play the “We Believe” Warriors in the first round of the playoffs. The Warriors that season were the thorn in the Mavericks’ backside, contributing to 3 of their 15 losses that season.
So it wasn’t any surprise when facing elimination against them, all eyes were on Dirk. The Warriors’ defense really stifled the life out of him – allowing him to score a paltry 8 points and to one of the worst shooting nights of his career. To let out his frustration after the game, he threw a trashcan into the wall of the stadium. Dirk now remembers it with
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The Oracle Arena has been a mainstay in the Golden State Warriors history – Moving to the Chase Center in 2019 was a bittersweet moment
Even though the GSW never won a championship in the Arena in the 2000’s, they had some memorable teams there. The “We Believe” 2007 Warriors were one of them. After struggling to make the playoffs for 13 years, GSW shocked everyone by defeating the 1st seed and title favorite Dallas in the first round of the playoffs. They did lose to the Utah Jazz in the next round, but it was a sign of better things to come.
Kids of today know GSW and their exploits through Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. But the fans from the yesteryears know that they had a Steph before Steph in Monta Ellis. Him and Baron Davis were a strong tandem, who were actually the backbone of the 2007 team.
After beating the Mavericks, they decided to keep the hole in the wall, as a reminder of them moving in the right direction. They even got Dirk to sign a plexiglass case which they hung over the hole.
While moving to the new stadium, the organization decided to move a piece of that wall along with the hole, since that was a huge part of their history in that arena. Talk about some real specific memorabilia!
Dirk Nowitzki was a gentle giant – but he was an assassin when it came to his playstyle
Dirk Nowitzki played like a graceful horse in sneakers when on the court. Nicknamed the Germanator, his playstyle was pretty much surgical. No excessive dribbling, fancy footwork or flashy dunks. He just need one foot to pivot and fadeaway the ball into the net.
While he may have felt that the 2006 finals could have been his only attempt at a title, luck struck in 2011. He actually had one of the hardest roads to a championship winning over the Lakers, Spurs and a rampant and young Miami Heat.
The GSW and Dallas battles in the mid 00’s were fun to watch, with both teams knowing what being an underdog meant. While Dallas were slightly more successful then, there is no doubting which franchise is poised for success currently.