Now, Dirk Nowitzki didn't have a typical "Dirk" season in 2011-2012 and it was for a variety of issues: lockout, no summer workout, playing internationally, out of shape, lack of want, aging skills, etc. There were lots.
If we're playing fair, Dirk by no means earned his $19+ million he got this year. I'll give you that.
But then, Southern Utah University's economics professor David Berri goes a bit overboard:
Dirk Nowitzki has been on the roster of the Dallas Mavericks since 1998, and Berri describes his performance during most of those years as "above average." Today, however, he characterizes the 33-year-old German as overpaid.
"He doesn't rebound, block shots, or get steals," he said. "Consequently, his productivity is no longer consistent with this pay or reputation. ... Once you look past his scoring totals (totals driven by above average shot attempts), Nowitzki is no longer a top NBA player."
Uh, excuse me? Most of his years were just "above average?" Being one of the most efficent and deadly offensive players in the history of the NBA qualifies as only "above average?" Throw in some respectable defense, and quality numbers in rebounds, blocks, steals and assists for the last decade (not to mention the insanely low turnover numbers) and I'd like to know just how Berri can call Dirk's career being played at mostly "above average."
Oh, and let's no forget Dirk's value isn't boiled down to just a series of numbers and calculations. While Dirk isn't known for wanting to market himself too much, there's the fact that he turned Dallas from an ashamed group of fans into a pretty thriving basketball town, the cornerstone of a franchise that owns the NBA sell-out streak record.
Also, Berri isn't looking at playoff data as Dirk is one of only four players to average 25 points and 10 rebounds in the playoffs for their career. Yeah. TOTALLY OVERPAID.
Throw in an MVP award and 12-consecutive All-NBA seasons for good measure. TOTALLY OVERPAID.
And how could I forget, a 2011 NBA Finals MVP. I don't care if Dirk was paid $25 million a year, June 12, 2011 made it all worth it.
I wouldn't have taken so much offense to this if Berri clearly started he was looking at 2011-2012 NBA regular season data. But then he had to say Dirk was just "above average" for his entire career and well, I just can't stand for that.