Before the Mavericks played the last game of their season yesterday, somewhat fittingly, Dirk Nowitzki was named to the All-NBA first team, joining LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade.
Nowitzki has been carrying this Dallas team for much of the time he’s been here, and certainly in the Denver series that ended on Wednesday night.
This marked the ninth time that Nowitzki has been named to on of the three annual All-NBA teams.
The big German attributes the honor to consistency, which is fitting considering that he has been too good for too long for anyone to be surprised by it anymore. One might even say that Dirk scored 25.9 points per game quietly (4th in the league), if such a task is possible.
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“It means you played solid basketball for the whole season, not a week or a month," Nowitzki said. "That's what this league is all about – trying to be consistent and helping your teammates night in and night out. I'm very honored.”
The statement, like Dirk himself, is a nod to modesty in an age where players work on self-mythologizing themselves as much as they work on their jump shots.
Dirk wouldn’t have it any other way.
Chris Paul, Brandon Roy, Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce and Yao Ming were named to the second team.
The third team consists of Chauncey Billups, Tony Parker, Carmelo Anthony, Pau Gasol and Shaquille O’Neal.