NBA Playoffs 2011: Why Dirk Nowitzki Is Better Than Kobe Bryant

When Kobe Bryant is winning chips and Spike Lee is making movies about his tenacity, there’s a lot about his game that people forgive.

When Nike is getting on their corporate knees to create cartoon characters in his likeness, people look past the unnecessary catch-and-stare-down that Kobe does every time someone throws him the ball on the wing.

They look past his constant barking and whining at refs.

They look past his unfailing preference to score in one-on-one settings rather than within the flow of the offense.

Well, he's gone.

Now the Western Conference is represented by someone who excels in the areas of the game that Kobe falters. There is a real difference between “getting yours” without taking away from your teammates and “getting yours” no matter what’s going on around you.

That’s the difference between Kobe and Dirk, and he showed it in Game 2 of the Finals.

We’ve never seen a player with Dirk’s size and shooting ability play the three.

Bird is the only shooter that is in Dirk’s league, but he was four inches shorter.

Dirk has shown he has the ability to get off a good shot or draw a double at any point during an offensive possession.  Any defender that is tall enough to guard him on the perimeter is uncomfortable out there, and any defender that is comfortable on the perimeter, he can shoot over.

He put Nick Collison in a dungeon in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, giving him some fall-aways in the post, some deep treys, and some crafty junk at the free throw line all in the span of about 45 seconds.

Watching Kobe is like watching a horrible sequel to a great movie with a better star: Jordan.

Dirk’s repertoire is based on his abilities as a pure shooter.

Pure shooters are hard to come by at any level, and this year there were only thr...

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