Mark Cuban believes Dirk can still be MVP
In a cut throat business like the NBA, where money is the priority over loyalty, the relationship between Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and his aging franchise star, Dirk Nowitzki, is a rarity.
Not only does Cuban still believe in the 35-year-old power forward, but he believes that he can still be MVP. Cuban recently told ESPN Dallas, “If there’s one missing piece between what everyone is saying and what we’re doing, everybody, I think, has dismissed Dirk — like Dirk is done and he’s on the downside and he can’t play anymore and he’s not the type of contributor that he was. Knock on wood, if we stay healthy, I think people are just missing Dirk in ways they shouldn’t. Like I’ve been telling him, Karl Malone won an MVP at 35 and there’s no reason why he can’t be considered in an MVP conversation at 35.”
Malone, however, was virtually injury free his entire career until he went to the Los Angeles Lakers. Malone also had an unbelievable work ethic. But what Dirk has that Karl never had is a consistent outside shot. As long as the Mavs continue to surround Dirk with big men that are willing to do all the dirty work, such as Samuel Dalembert and Brandon Wright, Dirk can easily play till he’s 40 by popping jumpers all day. But whether or not he can return to MVP form may be difficult given his recent injuries.