Dallas Mavericks Power Forward Dirk Nowitzki Still As Dependable As Ever

By Elaine J. Dispo
Dirk Nowitzki
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

What has been the Dallas Mavericks‘ constant for more than a decade and a half?

That would be the Big D’s Big D himself: Dirk Nowitzki.

Let us go over the obvious: this power forward has been with the team since 1998. He started his league career with the Mavs and may very well spend the rest of it in Dallas.

Almost every year he has been in the NBA, Nowitzki has been voted to the All-Star team, with the exception of 2013 after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee during 2012 training camp.

Of course, it may be understandable that while Dirk most certainly “does work,” he still must take it easy on that particular knee. Lately, Mavericks game attendees and TV viewers may have noticed the black sleeve adorning his left knee. While Nowitzki won’t reveal the reason for wearing it and the Dallas franchise has remained discrete as well, I speculate that this simply may be a protective caution. If he indeed is injured, smart head coach Rick Carlisle would refuse to allow him play hurt.

In the Mavs’ most recent game at the New Orleans Arena, Nowitzki initially struggled yet pointed out that bending his knees later on during regulation helped him lead Dallas to defeating the New Orleans Pelicans.

Nowitzki has contributed the most that any player has for Dallas, as MVP of the 2011 NBA Finals along with his Tipoff Trio teammate, small forward Shawn Marion. This champion also is one of only three current league players in the list of leading scorers of all-time. As No. 14, Nowitzki is 10 spots shy of Los Angeles LakersKobe Bryant and he just passed up Brooklyn NetsKevin Garnett.

Nowitzki has shed so much sweat, blood and maybe even some tears – although definitely not as many as the “Ballers Bawlers” who have taken over that “Drama King” throne to rule the emotional court – which have made his work worth every investment for the Mavs.

However, he needs his team to also come through because he cannot carry Dallas to victory single-handedly. At 35, alongside Marion, a.k.a. “The Matrix,” and 36-year-old volatile veteran Vince Carter, they can count on other players to be leaders on and off the court.

One potential leader is Nowitzki’s other half in the Nowellis Dynamic Duo: shooting guard Monta Ellis. I am not talking about just for this season but also in the years ahead because this baller has brought on his “Monta Ball” to take Mavericks Basketball to a whole new level.

As a matter of fact, shortly after Ellis signed with Dallas Carlisle even called their newbie the fastest player in basketball. Mavs owner Mark Cuban backed up this notion, saying that this guard makes their former one, J.J. Barea (of the Minnesota Timberwolves) look slow. Well, let’s hope that this speed from electric Ellis is what they indeed need for him to lead!

Elaine Dispo is a Dallas Mavericks writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter, “Like” her on Facebook or add her to your network on Google.

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