The Revolutionary Paideia May 2011 Person of the Month: Dirk Nowitzki

Each month, Revolutionary Paideia honors a person who embodies the “unsettling, unnerving, and unhousing” spirit that founded this site. Every person selected to be the Person of the Month has to have some significant part of him or her that is truly different in a substantive way. Throughout the 2011 National Basketball Association (NBA) Playoffs, Dirk Nowitzki has proven himself to be a player worthy of being selected as one who exemplifies the founding spirit of this site.

Dirk simply does things his own way. His unorthodox style of play often leaves people amazed at how he can perform so well when he is breaking nearly all of the traditional fundamentals of basketball taught by coaches at all levels. When shooting, Nowitzki jumps off of the wrong foot. He shoots off-balanced when he does not even have to shoot off-balanced. Dirk’s best shooting is done when he’s shooting off-balanced. When Dirk is driving to the basket, he’s off-balanced and looks like he has no idea what he’s going to once he actually gets to the basket. Unfortunately, for his opponents, he knows exactly what he’s going to do when he gets to the basket: score.

There’s no one in the NBA who can successfully defend Dirk Nowitzki—this is a reality that puts him in a class with only a small group of elites.  In the 2011 NBA Playoffs, Nowitzki has been defended well by some players, but their good defense didn’t have any impact on his ability to score. Very good NBA players in the 2011 NBA Playoffs who played against him have said that he hits shots that are simply “deflating.”

Dirk Nowitzki has performed brilliantly in the 2011 NBA Playoffs. He has led his team from seemingly impossible deficits to overcome against the Portland Trailblazers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the two-time defending NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers. Dirk led his team to sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers, which is something that he should receive great praise for being able to accomplish.

Dirk has improved his toughness and defense this year, especially in the playoffs. He has often been criticized for being “soft,” even I have vociferously criticized him for being “soft.” Throughout the playoffs, Dirk has proven to be a man who can evince the necessary toughness to win. It has recently been reported that he sustained an injury to his non-shooting hand in last night’s defeat to the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, so it will be interesting to see how he responds to this injury. He believes that the injury will not impact his performance.

No matter what happens in the 2011 NBA Finals, Dirk Nowitzki’s outstanding play deserves to receive some serious recognition. He is unequivocally the best international player ever to play in the NBA. Dirk has accomplished such greatness as an NBA player by simply being Dirk. He has not allowed anyone to change the way he plays and this decision has paid lucrative dividends for him.

It is my pleasure to name Dirk Nowitzki the Revolutionary Paideia May 2011 Person of the Month. Congrats, Dirk!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison


  1. Gotta love his drive and dedication. From his stats and the stories people tell, he seems like a good person.

    Even though they really played him hard last night. It’s just game 1!

    1. Yes, it’s just Game 1. The Mavericks will win the NBA championship because Dirk will be the Dirk he has been throughout this year’s playoffs. They really did not go to him like they should have and Jason Terry took horrible shots all night that really hurt the team. Thanks for reading and your response.

  2. Dirk is an interesting being. He is one of the greatest players who is not considered great. I have been critical of his heart and have labeled him soft in the past. I am truly hoping that he is able to complete his current journey and become a World Champion and a Finals MVP. If he does, he will rewrite his own legacy and become a true NBA great and the failure of 2006 and 2007 will no longer be relevant to the discussion of his legacy.

    1. If he wins the championship this year, and I’m confident that he will, the only talk about his past will be to demonstrate how great he has been despite his shortcomings. Thanks for reading and your response.

  3. So i’m coming from Germany and now we are extremely proud of Dirk Nowotzki. A German is really a super star in the choicest basketball league on the earth. Everyone is thrilled how the Us residents celebrate “our own” Dirk. This might be much less recognized in america.

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