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Like I've Said Before, Dirk Nowitzki is the Most Underappreciated Athlete in the History of The Metroplex

Through the years, I've attempted to defend Dallas Mavericks' star Dirk Nowitzki. Praised him

in columns

. Put him

atop underrated lists

.

The guy has done everything except win a championship. Points. MVPs. Guts. You name it.

Now he's gone an unprecedented step further.

Name me another superstar that's played in our city, left $16 million on the table to help his team win and rebuffed free-agency flirting from other teams all because ...

"My heart's here."

To his critics, it'll sound corny. But to me, it makes him even that more endearing.

He says only two players - LeBron James and Dwyane Wade - would make a real difference in free agency. Maybe if his unyielding loyalty and extra loot deliver one of those - or Shaquille O'Neal? - to Dallas then we'll finally appreciate Dirk?

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