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Feb
28

Shocker (not): FIBA Europe names Dirk Nowitzki player of the year; Navarro, McCalebb runners-up

To no one’s surprise – certainly not BallinEurope’s, in any case – FIBA Europe today announced its men’s player of the year award would go to the longtime Team Germany/Dallas Mavericks superstar. Less than suspenseful, too, were the results of the top five finishers: Behind Dastardly Dirk came Juan Carlos “La Bomba” Navarro, Bo McCalebb, Pau Gasol and Andrei Kirilenko.

Official FIBA Europe press release and highlights follow.

(FIBA Europe) – FIBA Europe announced on Tuesday that Dirk Nowitzki of Germany has been voted the 2011 European Player of the Year.

Nowitzki was the winner of the expert panel vote ahead of Spain captain/EuroBasket 2011 MVP Juan Carlos Navarro, while he placed fourth in the public voting.
It is the second time Nowitzki lands the coveted FIBA Europe award, as he was the winner of the first edition, in 2005. He was also named 2011 Germany’s Athlete of the Year last December.

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Jan
11

Dirk Nowitzki: “Angela Merkel is nice”; “I want to top Sabonis.”

Surely to no one’s surprise, Gazzetta dello Sport gave its prestigious Euroscar Player of the Year Award to Dirk Nowitzki, he of the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. Clearly the favorite to take FIBA Europe’s equivalent award, the Mav was bestowed with the honor on the same night he collected his bling-bling title ring in Dallas.

Enrico Cellini has gathered a few choice quotes from la Gazzetta’s interview with Nowitzki, including the German’s thoughts on his favorite Italian player, meeting Angela Merkel and topping Arvydas Sabonis.

On January 27, Dirk Nowitzki did not play for the Mavericks against the Minnesota Timberwolves but still brought home two interesting souvenirs from American Air Center. As you are reading BallinEurope, you don’t probably care too much about the diamond-encrusted $40K NBA championship ring (courtesy of Mark Cuban) that Dirk received in a touching ceremony (courtesy of Rick Carlisle), do you? Instead, what’s worth reporting about that night is the fact that Wunder Dirk also received the Europlayer 2011 award, an acknowledgement assigned by Italian Gazzetta dello Sport to the best European basketball player of the season.

You may see the ceremony here.

All right, so it wasn’t quite as dramatic as the ring ceremony but still …

Gazzetta dello Sport later published in its printed version an interview with Nowitzki, in which Würzburg’s finest touched on several topics.

Said Dirk on the loss in the 2005-06 NBA Finals to the Miami Heat: “That experience actually helped me – it made me improve: Now I handle the fourth quarter with more intelligence.”

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