"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

So So Def

Over at ESPN, Howard Bryant has a strong piece on Dirk Nowitzki and being a star player in the age of social media:

The truth, given time to breathe and be analyzed, is this: Nowitzki will go down as one of the greatest players in the history of the game, the greatest player of his franchise, the best (NBA) player Germany has ever produced. He has proved it this year — especially during these playoffs, when the Mavericks have transformed themselves from a team not tough enough to win into a formidable out — and in previous years that he can carry a team early or late. The outcome of the 2011 NBA Finals will do nothing to change that.

The concept of the “instant legacy” has permeated sport and lowered the level of intelligent discussion regarding how the game is played and the players who play it. TV commentators assess a player’s entire career based on two minutes at the end of each game. Meanwhile, the second-by-second instant analysis on social media doesn’t stop when the buzzer sounds. James has been in the playoffs for seven years, carrying a nondescript Cleveland team that without him is once again invisible after six straight postseasons — and his critics are legion. Peyton Manning was once a weak playoff performer, but that changed when he won the Super Bowl against Chicago. Then he lost to the Saints and was somehow relegated back to being subpar in the clutch. Before last year’s seventh and deciding game between the Lakers and Celtics, the ESPN pregame roundtable asked aloud if Kobe Bryant — already the greatest player of his generation — needed to win that night to “cement his legacy.”

Newspapers and magazines have always engaged in the same type of hero construction and deconstruction. The difference now is the speed of the technology and its volume.

I still think Miami will win the series, and I assume that LeBron James will have a great game tonight but man, I’d like to see Dirk match him and have Dallas win their final home game of the season.


1 ms october   ~  Jun 9, 2011 1:25 pm

after the bulls series when lebron was playing great there was all the talk of him being a better player than mj.
now he is a bum and people are questioning his heart.
it's crazy.

i can't say i am a big fan of the media writing about media trends though.

i too think miami wins the series, but i would love for dirk and jason kidd to get a title too.
dirk's crooked fall-away j is a crazy shot.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 9, 2011 1:32 pm

2) Dallas winning is worth it just to see Stern hand over the trophy to Mark Cuban.

3 ms october   ~  Jun 9, 2011 1:37 pm

[2] haha, yea - i cannot even imagine how that trophy ceremony would look. especially with cuban having been silent for most of the post season - surely he would burst at that point.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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