Dirk Realizes All-Star Streak Ending

HANG TIME SOUTHWEST – During the 2011 Western Conference finals, Dirk Nowitzki called Kevin Durant the future of the NBA. The future is now, complete with Durant, named an All-Star starter this week for a third consecutive time, bringing Nowitzki’s old-world, one-legged leaner with him.

The All-Star Game starters are a good way to judge the passing of one era and the beginning of another. Just look, other than Kobe Bryant, 34, in the West, and Kevin Garnett, 36 (and maybe an aging Dwyane Wade, 31), in the East, it’s a young man’s game.

Nowitzki, 34, a fixture on 11 consecutive West All-Star teams (albeit all but once as a reserve), realizes his streak is coming to an end, just as Tim Duncan, 36, saw his run of 13 consecutive All-Star appearances and 12 consecutive starts, end a year ago.

“It’s obviously a disappointing streak to end, but it is what it is,” Nowitzki told reporters this week. “I had fun representing the Mavs all these years, but it was a tough year for me with injuries. I guess those four days I’m going to enjoy and get a good amount of work in as well and get recharged for the second half of the season.”

Nowitzki missed the first 27 games of the season after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Oct. 19. He has not been the same Dirk since, averaging just 14.0 ppg on 41.0 percent shooting. A career 87.7 percent free throw shooter, he’s hitting just 77.6 percent in his 14 games back, including unusual critical misses in several games. The Mavs, struggling at 17-24, are just 5-9 since his highly anticipated return.

Dirk’s All-Star streak could have ended last season when right knee trouble slowed him in the first half of the season. Even he said other forwards deserved to go more than he did, but Western Conference coaches awarded the 2011 Finals MVP with a nod as a reserve.

It doesn’t mean Nowitzki can’t make it back next season, especially if he starts the season on two good knees. Duncan is having a tremendous year in his 16th season and is a leading candidate to be selected as a West reserve.

But this is not how Nowitzki envisioned this season, which threatens to keep him out of the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade. In Saturday night’s 117-114 loss to Oklahoma City, he missed 10 of his first 11 shots and finished with 18 points on 5-for-19 shooting in a season-high 41 minutes.

“I have to keep working, I don’t know what else to say,” Nowitzki said after the game. “I had some great looks even there in the first half. It’s almost a tragedy that they don’t go in.”

60 Comments

  1. Dennis says:

    Just remember, the fans vote for the players to be in the starting lineups. The coaches vote for the reserve players. The coaches can’t vote for any players on their franchise. The commissioner picks the replacements if any of the starters or reserve players are injured.

  2. bryan says:

    every team in the nba has a main man..
    and i think nowitzki is still dallas’s main man..
    so for as long as he’s the “go to guy” for the mavs..,
    he still have the right to be an ALL STAR..!

  3. YoYo says:

    NBA was nice enough to give him a ring in 2011 now be good boy and play along…

  4. mustafa says:

    I agree with Jacques Durceille, good comments.

  5. dmh says:

    The various arguments of who took whos spot is why the system needs to be changed to coaches vote first and fans vote after that. That would make it a little more merit based and would only give the fans so many players to vote for. This also would prevent two teams with 8th and 11th-12th place records in their conferences to get two allstar starters when they barely deserve one that particular year. I mean if the coaches voted for the whole roster I bet that Kobe makes it and Dwight does not. Dwight has had a down year due to injury and other circumstances…. (cough cough Mike D). Then that would reward teams like the Grizzlies and Warriors for being playoff contenders since day 1 of the season. Players like CP3 and Blake Griffin would still be allstar starters, but its because those two are more deserving than their LA counterparts this year. When you get up to that level in reality it doesn’t matter who starts anyways…. The fans can do that!

  6. Heat fan says:

    Dirk’s streak should have ended last season, however there are others who deserve that West frontcourt slot more than Griffin. Zach Randolph has been better than him.

  7. Will says:

    I don’t think Dirk should be an allstar but O.J Mayo or Darren Collison have a shot as a reserve

  8. LUGA KA says:

    Funny faker fans… Now Dirk then who’s next… Uhm Durant??? LBJ??? Carmelo??? Why don’t you add DRose, Dwade,C.Bosh, Rondo…. Not all players can be bought… LBJ, Bosh, Join MIAMI HEAT because they want to win… Not to become laughing stock… purple n gold??? Was that on D-League????

  9. spur forever says:

    go tiimmy show theme that age doesnt matter it just a number.yeah boy get some more aLL STAR SELection go spurs.

  10. spur forever says:

    yap only in the nba all amazing happened.kg as a starter ?no way hes not in that level anymore.and look lin got more votes than harden funny theres a lot more better all star point guard than him in the west division.

  11. Johnny boy says:

    geez, fans voted for those guys as starters. nothing you can do about it, no matter how compelling your arguments are. they can go on til they’re fifty and they’ll start as long fans vote them the most. it’s that simple really.

  12. caloyski says:

    No matter what people say, DIRK is already a Legend and will surely be regarded as one of the BEST European Player who ever played in the NBA— Kudos to DIRK

  13. Pophater says:

    Alan Iverson got selected one year, when he had barely played. All-Star voting is poo.

  14. Franz says:

    Dirk brought it on himself. Comes back to the league unfit after their championship, which ultimately resulted in his knee injury. He’s got no one to blame but himself.

    • GirlBasketballFan says:

      I’m so tired of some people being under that impression. Dirk’s knee started to bother him because he won the championship and then went onto play for the German National team. He didn’t take his normal break between the season ending and starting to gear up for the next season. He basically took his break after he did all that, and the lockout had all the players not knowing when they were actually going to go back. I remember reading on Twitter that he started to get back into shape before training camp last season. His work ethic is amazing. It’s ridiculous to say he brought the injury on himself because of an extra long season, and not knowing exactly when he was going to start a season.

  15. Zombie says:

    Come on dude when is it ever not about money? Every team tries to spend top dollar to lure in big names and talent.

  16. Dutch_laker fan says:

    only thing that bothers me is that Lin gets more votes then Harden, way better player with loads more potential.

  17. 3ptdagger says:

    It’s more an issue of injuries than of age, not that being older doesn’t make one more prone to injuries. It’s crazy that being in your mid to late 30s is considered ‘old’. Hey, maybe they should form an ‘old guy’ NBA for recent retirees. Let’s not forget that injuries pretty much hurt the careers of Anfernee Hardaway and Grant Hill when they were still very young. Yes, Hill made a pretty amazing comeback a few years ago, but think of what both these men could have accomplished when they were younger had they not been sidelined by injuries. I’m no fan of Dallas or Dirk but it still makes me sad to see he can’t perform the way he used to. I wish Dirk a speedy recovery and hope he can play for a few more years yet.

  18. drew says:

    reunion of nash and nowitski in LA

  19. Cedric says:

    D Howard should not be a starter it should be Duncan the best PF in history.Go Spurs !!!

    • YAHEY says:

      I think there should be a game in all-star wekend between the old guys and the younger guys. Here the old guys need to prove that they “still” can play against the new guys.

  20. Wilson says:

    @big cat: still the best big man in the game? really? lol

    historical 2011 run? don’t make me laugh. you mean that time when mark cuban bought all those players? how long have they been with the Mavs organization? caron butler, tyson chandler? nothing historical about that my friend. It was all about the money.

    • Knicks Fanatic! says:

      no KG please, he is not an all star this season

    • mk24 says:

      Dude, historical run for dirk, man. And at least he is one of the best big man in the league. Tell me exactly which organization wasn’t really for money?

  21. IAMHEAT!!! says:

    WTH ??? when a player is not worth in here team he just need to join LAKERS ?? is that all what the lakers fans think ?? you got to many good player on your team but no chemistry.. you go work on your chemistry before hiring top players again.

    • Jonesy37 says:

      I think he is referring to older players coming to the Lakers at the end of their careers to win a championship – think Malone, Payton, Nash, even (sort of) Howard. Personally I thought it was a funny comment…

    • Jonesy37 says:

      Even though none of these did (or have).

  22. Laker Fan says:

    Nash deserves it too, to be an ALL STAR!

  23. realist says:

    who cares. the all star game is completely meaningless. Its just a popularity contest. Making these all star teams means absolutely nothing. You cannot even say its to show the world who the best players are, because all the real fans already know.

  24. Gary says:

    Duncan not only deserves to be all-star but should be a starter (ahead of both Griffin & Howard).

    Garnett is not good enough for the all-star game and not even close. Noah should start instead. BTW he could beat Garnett 3 times in the row face to face (I’m talking about basketball & don’t count Kevin’s cheap shots).

    There are many more centers/power forwards in the East who deserve be all-star much more than Garnett:
    Chandler, Lopez, Horford, Josh Smith, Boozer, Vucevic, Bosh, West, Monroe

    • lol says:

      noah is better than kg? plz just get the hell out of here lol you shouldnt be here if you dont know nothing about basketball

  25. jacobm says:

    the league will always need the balance of explosive young talent and wise veteran leadership. that’s as simple as it gets, someday KD, Rose, Lillard and the other young players of today will slow down but they will take over the leadership role to a new crop of explosive young talents. Circle of Hoops

  26. Bunsenburner says:

    @Jacques Durceille, you are so wrong, Players like Garnett are still good enough for the all-star game. You seem to forget how big the impact is of basketball intelligence on games. This grows with age.

    I wish everyone would just quit this brainmelting age-discussion. A player is good or not good enough for the all-star game, leave age out of it.

    • genoa says:

      The celtics are 8th in the league and are going to have 2 starters and of the two one is the reason the other is even putting up productive numbers. Garnett has not made an all star calibur impact for his team – no matter how experienced he is, why is he getting started over Bosh who plays the same position better for a better team, or Noah who has elevated every facet of his game this year and helped keep the bulls in the picture without their MVP?

      • olepeed says:

        If Garnet streaks going to end,Tyson Chandler will deserve it more than any of the guys you just mentioned.Like they say:Big man play in your lane” and if u look at the stat,he did just that almost 70% fleld goals hooting and almost 11 rebounds a game…

  27. aaron says:

    honestly KG’s streak shud have ended too…he isn’t an all-star this year. i dont believe in giving guyz all-star nods for their careers…it should be season-to-season…KG is one of my all-time favorite players no doubt but numbers don’t lie

    • NBA Fan says:

      he plays limited minutes, so his numbers are obviously lower, but it’s not only this. He anchors Celtics’ defense which is a very important part of a player’s performance. On this end he does much better than any other player in the East, so, yes, he deserves a spot on all-star team. Being good basketball player does not come down simply to the stat sheet.

      • Eli Odell J. says:

        you gon honestly tell me there’s no more derservin player than garnett? in all the east?

      • Petr says:

        I thing he should be on the team, but not as a starter. If you took what’s in the conference and simply tried to build the best team possible, KG would just not be in (not even as a defensive anchor that he undoubtedly is).

  28. Mark says:

    Dirk’s streak should have ended last season.

  29. Jacques Durceille says:

    Out with the old, in with the new. I wish the allstar game was more about true numbers and merit rather than reputation. It would weed out folks like garnett, steve nash and others from holding spots that would best be utilized by more productive higher octane, more deserving stars.

    I’m Glad old men streaks are ending. They should be. You gotta have the numbers, excitement, highlights, etc. If you don’t please step to the side. Let the younger guys who are the future of the nba take the stage. It makes no sense for guys like nash and garnett to make it.

    Jennings should be in, aldridge should be in, love should be in, lillard, holiday, paul george etc. a 34 year old pierce, almost 40 year old nash, 36 year old garnett and 34 year old nowitzki have had their time in the sun and understandably do not produce as much anymore. No fault to them. Father time comes for all and leaves no one behind (except grant hill apparently).

    But we need fresh air and fresh players. Move to the side old guys.

    • big cat says:

      KG , tim Duncan , kobe ,pierce , all deserve it , quit hating on the old heads there the backbone of this league , dirk and kobe would be in there too if it weren’t for injuries

    • NBA Fan says:

      Love should be in? first, he would have to give up his spot anyway cause he’s out 6-8 weeks, second he didn’t even play half of Timberwolves’ games. And Nowitzki and Nash are not going to make it, because of injuries, while Garnett and Pierce really deserve. All-Star should not be only about numbers, cause you can’t really describe defense in a numerical way. George might deserve it next year, right now he just revently picked up the slack, he didn’t play like an All-Star whole season up to that point. I would rather take Irving into the game than Holiday at this point, but Holiday is close here, Lillard has no chance yet, cause west guards are stuffed (Kobe, Paul, Westbrook, Harden, Parker) with players who are still better than him, but he can make it even next year if he keeps playing like that. I don’t see any point in mentiong Aldridge really. He might get a spot on reserves and I think he deserves it, but there’s a lot of competition there too and you can blame “oldies” in the starting lineup, cause you’ve got Durant, Griffin and Howard there. And for Jennings, I think that Ellis should get a trip to All-Star before Jennings, cause he’s been amazing for a few years now although he seems to quiet down a little in Milwaukee.

  30. Twin Tower! says:

    time 2 join the Lakers!

    • Mino says:

      he’s retiring in dallas. if he doesn’t see any future for dallas, he’s done after this year.

      get your filthy purple and gold hands off of him

      • Eli Odell J. says:

        i agree, he probly got a few more left, and he aint gon leave this year, gotta finish on a good note but he aint goin to california no sir

    • artifex says:

      please not again.
      this talking becomes so boring.
      And totallz useless, it will NEVER happen.
      Even if he leaves I donät see him going to LA.
      Nothing good came from there (I say Lame Odom) so I would doubt he likes to go there…

  31. big cat says:

    don’t hate on the man , he’s still the best big man in the game , and don’t forget his historical 2011 playoff run , one of the most impressive playoff runs of all time

    • James says:

      Best big man?

    • thatguy says:

      I dont think he was confused about the ‘big man’ part. You honestly think he’s THE BEST big man? C’mon bro…

    • Bob says:

      He’s a great scorer, but he doesn’t play like a “big man”. He takes more jump shots than anything else, he’s NEVER averaged 10 rebounds per game, and he has only averaged a block per game just ONE time in the last 7 seasons.

    • kevin nicholls INDIANAPOLIS says:

      I don’t know why they even having this article dirks been injuryed and he’s not worried an all star he’s more worried about getting healthy, and what does a big man define in this days game playing in the post because when dirk plays in the post you cant stop him his shot is un blockable and he grabbes about 10 rebounds a game