Till Tuesday night, it was the question of the Dallas-Golden State series: Where's Dirk? During the first four games against the Warriors, he shot a lousy 40 percent and looked more French than German as he surrendered the first-round series to Baron Davis. Then, finally, on Tuesday night Dirk showed up long enough to score 30 -- including 12 of those final 15 points that brought the Mavs back from the brink of brutal humiliation.
This morning, hours before the Game 6 in Oakland that could prove harder to watch than Faces of Death, The New York Times celebrates Nowitzki's return to the NBA playoffs; better late than never, right? But, hey, Dirk was never worried. To him, the situation was never as bleak as everyone was making it out to be. “Bleak? What does that mean? I never heard that word.” Writer Howard Beck insists Dirk wasn't kidding -- even though there are a handful of words in German that mean the same thing. The better quote comes from Mavs owner Mark Cuban, who describes the final minutes of Game 5:
“All I saw was the spinach was on the sidelines and Dirk popped the spinach,” said Cuban, who then hummed the Popeye theme song and said he heard “some guy saying, ‘I am what I am,’ and going out there and hitting some 3s.”
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Either that, or Dirk was just pumpin' hisself up with some New Bohemians. --Robert Wilonsky