“Swept Kobe Bryant, beat 3 future MVPs, and 4-2 win vs LeBron James, Wade & Bosh”: Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas Mavericks to the toughest NBA Championship back in 2011
|Tue Jul 12 2022
Dirk Nowitzki and his Dallas Mavericks of 2010-11 might be one of the most formidable teams in NBA history. Their championship run that year is the toughest route to the Larry O’Brien.
By the end of the 2000s, NBA had a lot of teams that were top contenders for the Championship but still, the Miami Heat looked like the team of the 2010s. The previous decade saw the Lakers winning four Championships, and the Spurs winning three but the 2010s had to be the decade for LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
The Heat had formed the best team in NBA history with James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Although he would win four championships in the next 10 years after “The Decision”, The King succumbed under the pressure in the first of four NBA Finals that the Heat would reach in his 4-years stay with 2 future Hall of Famers in Miami.
And that upset was caused by a determined group of players from the West who had defeated, Kobe Bryant‘s Lakers in Conference Semi-finals and Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant’s Thunder in Conference Finals.
Dirk Nowitzki rocked reigning Finals MVP Kobe Bryant, future MVPs KD, Westbrook, Harden and a future top contender for GOAT – LeBron James, in a single postseason.
The NBA as we see it today, would not have been the same if the German international had not led his Mavericks to their first and only championship. The 7-footer has openly accepted after his retirement that he would be evaluating his chances out of Dallas if they didn’t win that year.
But neither two GOATs (Bryant and James) of the game nor a fever in the Finals could stop him from lifting the biggest reward in basketball that he had missed out on back in 2006 against the Heat team led by Dwyane Wade. Talking about full circle.
Dirk Nowitzki really had one of the hardest paths to win an NBA championship:
— Basketball Forever (@Bballforeverfb) July 10, 2022
He averaged 27.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists, while shooting 46% from the 3-point line, 48.5% from the field, and 94.1% from the free-throw line. That also earned the 14x All-Star and 12x All-NBA player his first and only Finals MVP.
What made Dirk Nowitzki an unarguable legend of the game, restrained Bryant from winning his 6th championship which he desperately wanted to surpass Michael Jordan’s GOAT debate. It also is one of the biggest stains on LeBron’s illustrious resume which surely would have him as the clear GOAT if he managed to win it that year.