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Dirk Nowitzki’s worst playoff game spoiled his MVP season and brought his legacy into question

Today, Dirk Nowitzki’s legacy is untouchable. He’s an MVP, a champion, an NBA Finals MVP, and one of the greatest players in the history of Dallas Mavericks, the NBA, and the whole continent of Europe. He ended his playing career beloved, revered, and dignified.

So it’s pretty amazing to reflect on the low point of that career: a surprising playoff defeat so grim it threatened to tarnish his legacy for good. Nowitzki was the soon-to-be MVP and the leader of the league’s best regular season team, so for him to perform as poorly as he did in a decisive Game 6 against the underdog Golden State Warriors was devastating. It was underscored by a semi-embarrassing MVP trophy presentation days later, followed by Nowitzki’s walkabout in the Australian outback that summer.

The whole of Nowitzki’s superstar career eclipsed the bad times, but MAN, those bad times were ... the worst.

Check out the full video above and the rest of our series THE WORST in our playlist.