He's an awful 1-on-1 defender, he's not very marketable and he's been the leader of a team that has been known for choking throughout his career. Having said that, he's hands down the best shooting 7 footer of all time and seems to be a pretty nice dude all around.
Pretty sure he's been fluent in English since he was a kid, so that's not it. Think it's due to nothing about him being flashy or "eye-catching". He doesn't dunk on people or cross people over, his teams have been notorious underachievers and everything he does [outside of ridiculous 18' fallaways off the back foot] is pretty ho-hum. Not exactly the kind of guy that sells signature shoes and cheeseburgers.
No flair to his game and he hasn't been known for his aggression to the basket.
If he had of won in 2006, I think things would be different but Dirk is known for being that guy that has gotten his team to 50 wins every season but failed when it mattered the most - in the playoffs.
He puts up ridiculous shots. I really can not believe he doesn't get more attention for that. People like to see a big guy putting up crazy dunks and he doesn't.
He's white, he aint the best looking dude, he's not terribly athletic, he doesn't have any flashy moves (his moves are really technical and require some knowledge of basketball to really appreciate), he's a private/shy kind of guy...If you don't pander to the media, you don't get a lot of recognition. Example, most people probably think Kobe is better than Dirk. On the NBA forums I go to Dirk is unanimously better.
He's sort of like Tim Duncan, just quietly puts up big numbers with crazy efficiency. NBA geeks know Timmy's probably the best PF of all time, but he was never a hugely marketable super star.
He's not the kind of guy who gets on year end highlight reels or anything. Being able to do that is a BIG BIG BIG thing in sports, especially one like basketball.
See how Blake Griffin is already one of the leagues biggest stars? Highlight reel plays.
You know who's had an even better career than Nowitzki with a similarly low public profile? Tim Duncan, arguably the second best player of the last decade right behind Kobe. Some may even say is the best. He also has a style of play that doesn't make the highlight reel.
And today, where short clips get put on sports news, youtube, and commercial, having highlights is important.
And yeah, a lot of foreign players don't excel at the excitement part of the game.
No it's not because he's white. The majority of the United States is white [for now :O]. If anything he'd have it easier--not that that is the case either.
did not know there even was an nba thread. so forgive.
lots of good points... i really do not even follow basketball, but I thought of this thread when I was listening to the Dan Patrick radio show, when they were talking about how much hype, tv commercials, and MONEY Penny Hardaway made/had, and how his career was pretty average if not that, and how good Dirk is and how little attention he gets...
then I came across the ESPN article I linked above.
It's even worse in female sports---never mind highlights and being an exciting player, LOOKS suddenly matter the most. I think the highest paid female athlete is Maria Sharapova, and to my knowledge she's not winning anything right now.
To be fair, Penny's career was derailed by major injuries. He would've probably been a first ballot HOF'er if he had remained healthy. He was putting up Clyde Drexler type numbers. Also, anyone who thinks Dirk is better than Kobe needs to have their head examined and clearly doesn't know basketball.
I'll add Karl Malone also didn't get the fame and spotlight he deserved. The most fame he had was Jimmy Kimmel's "I be Karl Malone" skit on the Man Show. I'd put him above Dirk and at least he's brought his team to the finals unlike Nowitzki depite all the good Dallas teams over the years.
Dirk took the Mavs to the NBA Finals in 2006, don't know what sport you've been watching. They were up 2-0 on the Heat before David Stern and the refs stepped in. Dwane Wade shot more free throws that series than the entire Mavs team combined. That series is still controversial.
This is also why people call Dirk a choker when in reality he's one of the best playoff performers of all time. Only 4 players to ever average 25 pts 10 rebounds in the playoffs are Hakeem, Elgin Baylor, Bob Pettit and Dirk.
And Whiteflash, I don't know how you can still defend Kobe after they got swept. Even Colin Cowherd, biggest Lakers homer of all time, is jumping ship. He says Kobe is no longer capable of dominating games and leading a team. Bill Plaschke, 2nd biggest Lakers homer of all time, said something similar. We'll see how he performs next season, a lot of this might be overreaction. But either way Dirk proved he is currently the better player.
Yeah , I was wrong about that. But besides that year, they haven't performed very well in the playoffs.
Larry Bird was an ugly white guy that almost never dunked and didn't have a big mouth. He's a legend because that guy was a winner and had what it took to get his team to the Finals on a consistent basis. Let's see if Dirk has that in him during these playoff series. Maybe then, he'll earn the credit that he's due.