Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge

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by Bryan Harvey

All Things Dirk

May 17, 2011


I've never written anything substantial on Dirk Nowitzki. In fact, I've always resented the man. I don't know why, other than the rivalry between San Antonio and Dallas, a rivalry that grew not just from Mark Cuban's whining imagination and close geography, but from the fact that for the last decade the teams' two best players both played the same position, which, strangely, only rarely resulted in their guarding each other. The Spurs always preferred to put Bruce Bowen on the Big German, and Dallas always preferred playing Duncan for what he was: a center. The fact that these two seldom defended one another speaks to how open to differentiation the game of basketball is; it's a testament to the game's flexibility, yet this evidence made me more rigid in my stance against Dirk. I saw him as less than Duncan because as a seven-footer he refused to do all of his work down on the block or through the rigid angle of a bank shot. I hated and feared him because he was different than what I preferred. I was wrong. I was stupid.

 Tim Duncan has clearly had the better career. He's got the rings. He's got more awards. He's got legacy. But, despite all that, I've always struggled to give Dirk his due, and now I'm making up for lost time:

-"Dirk Nowitzki's Long Siege"

-"No Country for Old Men: Contemplating the Thunder vs. the Mavericks"

Appreciate him before time does with him as it has with Duncan and Garnett. I'm glad I did, even if it did take too long to see the light.

**After writing "No Country for Old Men: Contemplating the Thunder vs. the Mavericks", I read this piece at Hardwood Paroxysm, which was very similar to my take on the situation. I'm always amazed at how people of similar ages and similar interests unconsciously become clones of one another. Human beings really are wired the same and it's always humbling to be reminded of that, and it also speaks to why it's such a good thing that basketball players, like Duncan and Nowitzki, offer such variety on how to go about doing identical tasks.

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