This one goes out by request to BallinEurope reader Mike, who recently commented here, “Hey, I came to this site to find out what German newspapers are saying about Dirk, and if they really care. Can you post up some info about this? It would be pretty cool to know. Like are they going to celebrate him over there if he wins?”
In response, BiE would say that German media coverage of Dirk Nowitzki and his Dallas Mavericks is pretty thorough right now. For a really good writeup/roundup on Dirk’s press reportage, check out the always excellent Germany-based heinnews’ Friday article “German media pulling for Nowitzki, Dallas to get NBA title – finally.”
For BiE’s money, though – and judging by the content in typically soccer-dominated European sports newspapers, the opinion may be right on – an opinion expressed on the German-language Sport1 website is more likely a fair representation of the current media situation there.
Entitled “Dirk hat mehr Respekt verdient” (“Dirk has earned more respect”), Markus Krawinkel’s column puts Nowitzki on a German sports heroes’ Mount Rushmore along with Michael Schumacher, Boris Becker, and Franz Beckenbauer, while decrying what he sees as a relative dearth of coverage on Nowitzki’s amazing run (and career in general).
As translated by David Hein of heinnews, Krawinkel wrote in part that Nowitzki “is honored in the U.S., his name mentioned in the same sentence with Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, and that by Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan!
“Hello, Germany! What is wrong with our sports reporting that every
second division footballer gets more time on TV?
“Private television is reporting the whole week about a Ukrainian boxer [Vladimir Klitschko] and one of 20 Formula One races or that other channels – private or public – are not even on site.
“Time difference aside, Dirk Nowitzki has earned more respect for what the most well-known German athlete is accomplishing and how he’s doing it.
“It seems like Nowitzki is a bigger star everywhere else in the world than at home. At the 2008 Olympics, Nowitzki could hardly move around freely in the athletes’ village – athletes from other countries were surrounding him and asking him for pictures and autographs.
“A Chinese colleague was shocked when he heard that the NBA Finals are not in the headlines daily [in Germany]. Another colleague in the press seating said Nowitzki is idolized even in less sports-mad India…”
According to Hein, nothing has been formally planned by the national federation Deutscher Basketball Bund to celebrate Nowitzki should the Mavericks take the NBA title, but BallinEurope will be kept informed.