Before the beginning of the Mavericks vs. Lakers Game 1, Charles Barkley went on the TNT airwaves and warned his comrades that he had a controversial statement to make. There was a long pause as we tried to figure out what he'd say. Heck, if it was controversial in Charles Barkley's mind, then it was probably going to be pretty damn controversial.
Eventually, Charles got his point out. I'm paraphrasing, but this is what he essentially said.
Chris Webber and Kenny Smith howled in disbelief. Meanwhile, most of us on Twitter at the time kind of shrugged. Really, it wasn't that controversial at all. Dirk played at an MVP level this season, and Bryant began to show his age. If an NBA blogger said the same thing, there wouldn't exactly be a rush of dissent among his or her peers. It's kind of true.
Ultimately, Dirk went out and proved how awesome he really is in Dallas' 96-94 win. Kobe played great too, of course, but Nowitzki was the one who got it done down the stretch. He torched Pau Gasol all night, scoring 13 points on 5-5 shooting in six possessions with Gasol specifically on him. Lamar Odom fared a little better, but Dirk still ended up with 28 points and 14 rebounds. Oh, and he managed to score and pull off a karate kick in his final field goal of the night.
Win or lose, hopefully we can all appreciate the Big German.