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stuart
05-22-2006, 05:08 PM
I think the authors puts too much emphasis on Dirk Nowitzki being the model of the international player that scouts are looking for, sure Dirk is certainly one of the best, if not THE BEST international player out there but it is arguable since there are players that are similiarly successful and have different skillsets; Manu Ginobili, Yao Ming, Tony Parker, Andrei Kirilenko and Pau Gasol to name a few.

Anyways, I guess I shouldn't put too much weight on the article as it is from the Dallas Morning News... (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/stories/050506dnspomavslede.c89a054.html)

Stuart



World of talent: Dirk more than a player of import
He is the main reason NBA scouts have filled up their passports with stamps and visas.

He's one reason they know every back-roads gym from Moscow to Madrid. And he's the reason European basketball is better than it's ever been.
Everybody is scouring Europe for the next Dirk Nowitzki.

The German is a giant, both in stature and the way he's playing these days. Unlike the incredible shrinking Spaniard, Pau Gasol, who Nowitzki and the Mavericks swept out of the NBA playoffs in the first round, Nowitzki is as hot as any player east of Kobe Bryant or west of LeBron James.

More Mavericks
It's no longer fair to ask whether Nowitzki is the best European player in the league right now. He is. And because most Euros didn't arrive on the NBA scene until the last 20 years and most of them who are worth their salt are still in the league, the bigger question is whether Nowitzki is the best European player ever."I don't think there's much question about that," said Del Harris, who has coached internationally for four countries, including China in the 2004 Olympics and been a keen observer of the global growth of the NBA. "I don't know of anybody from that continent that you'd rather have over Dirk."

Nowitzki is clearly better than anybody else from Europe who is currently playing. His 26.6 points and nine rebounds per game in the regular season made him a strong MVP candidate. France's Tony Parker of San Antonio, Russia's Andrei Kirilenko of Utah and Serbia & Montenegro's Peja Stojakovic of Indiana are high-profile stars. But none is in Nowitzki's class.

And of former players, only Drazen Petrovic of Croatia, whose life was cut short by an automobile accident, and Lithuanian Arvydas Sabonis, who didn't get to the NBA until his best years were behind him, can be considered threats to Nowitzki.

Milwaukee's Toni Kukoc, a Croatian who still is hanging on after a wonderful career (and three championships) also deserves to be in the discussion.

But none can challenge Nowitzki's individual greatness.

Carroll Dawson, general manager of the Houston Rockets, has coached and drafted his share of international players Hakeem Olajuwon and Yao Ming among them.

He doesn't deal in absolutes because, invariably, somebody will take offense. But he knows what everybody else knows about Nowitzki.
"He's just a force," Dawson said. "I don't want to say he's a freak, because that sounds bad. But he's a 7-footer who can get his shot inside or outside, no matter what you do.

"Everybody wants a force like that. I got the highest respect you can have for the guy and I love watching him play except against the Rockets."

As Orlando coach Brian Hill said: "He's probably the toughest matchup in the league. You put a big guy on him, he's got a counter for that. You put a small guy on him, he shoots over him."

The NBA playoffs feature 44 international players from 25 countries and territories. Of those, 25 are from Europe. Only two teams, Miami and Washington, are composed completely of U.S. natives.

That the best player for the Mavericks and one of the best for their next playoff opponent, if the San Antonio Spurs make it to the second round are Europeans makes this the possible poster series of the NBA's international movement.

The league has come a long way since Sarunas Marciulionis was a novelty because he wasn't American.

With the speed that Europeans and players from other continents have infiltrated the NBA, maybe it won't be long until the league has players from other planets, although it can be argued Dennis Rodman already broke that barrier.

"There are no secrets anymore," said Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks' president of basketball operations. "There was a time when you could find players nobody else knew about. But you can't go into Europe to scout anymore without running into somebody you know from the league."

At the close of the regular season, 82 players in the NBA were non-American. That's roughly 20 percent.

And while Nelson and the Mavericks had a big role in pioneering the league's international expansion, the second round of the playoffs could offer an even greater glimpse into the phenomenon.

San Antonio has more foreign-born players than any team in the league with seven.

Levenspiel
05-23-2006, 12:03 AM
yes, they put much emphasis on Nowitzki, but in my humble opinion, he deserves that! He's not only the best European ever, but he's also one of the top 5 NBA players for the last two seasons, in both of which he could be named as the league MVP.

and together with Ginobili and Arroyo, I think, he's the rightest model for other international players. Because, they fight real hard for their NTs whenever they are called, after an exhausting NBA season, without any excuses, and I never heard they created ego problems.

ArkadiosV2
02-07-2008, 09:28 AM
Nowitzki achieved the first triple double of his career.

29 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists!