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Dirk: Worst MVP Ever?

By Daniel Strickland on May 17, 2007.

It’s official — Dirk Nowitzki is the 2007 NBA Most Valuable Player. Fans love to argue about what exactly “most valuable” means — most valuable to the league or to his team? — but one thing is clear from this year’s selection.

Dirk Nowitzki MVP Candy Bar
Soft and Chewy

Dirk Nowitzki turns out to be a controversial MVP both for fans — many of whom would have preferred the honor go to Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash or LeBron James — and the sports journalists who voted for him. Many have delivered mea culpeas to their readers since Dallas’s ugly exit in the first round of the playoffs.

Steve Kerr realizes that he should have seriously considered Tim Duncan as the MVP.

I have to come clean: Not once this season did I make mention of Tim Duncan for MVP.

I realize I’m not alone — there weren’t many people on the Duncan bandwagon when it came to discussion of the award — but as the playoffs continue and basketball fans focus on the San Antonio Spurs star on a nightly basis, it seems absurd that he wasn’t at least in the MVP picture all season.

After all, Duncan enjoyed one of his best seasons in years, averaging 20 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game and shooting 54.6 percent from the field. Following a season in which he struggled with plantar fasciitis in his foot, Duncan regained the bounce in his step and once again has dominated on the block.

Gregg Doyel writes for CBS Sportsline:

We’re going to look back on “2007 NBA Most Valuable Player Dirk Nowitzki” and laugh. Hell, some of us were laughing before he even picked up his trophy.

Nowitzki, who wimped out of the playoffs and took Dallas down with him, as MVP of this NBA season is flat out wrong. It’s criminal. Felonious.

And Kevin Hench of ranks Dirk as one of “History’s 10 most undeserving MVPs.”

I thought Steve Nash should have won this award for the third straight year, but I take no joy in Nowitzki’s flameout against the Warriors. After a season in which he scored 24.6 points per game on 50.2 percent shooting from the floor and 41.6 percent shooting from behind the arc, Dirk scored 19.7 a game on 38.3 percent shooting from the floor and 21.1 shooting from deep against Golden State. Anyone want a do-over on their MVP vote?

When accepting the award, Nowitzki did so with mixed emotions.

“Even when I heard I was MVP, I was sad to watch all these playoff games and know that we’re not a part of it,” Nowitzki said. “It’s heartbreaking still to me. I was trying to be positive and be really happy, but it’s going to take a while for it to really sink in.”

Personally, I’ve got nothing against Dirk and think he’s a great player. Early on this season, David Stern lobbied hard for Nowitzki, maybe hoping to add to the league’s growing international popularity. Who knows, maybe picking a Canadian player for the third consecutive year just didn’t seem sufficiently international?

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