|Dirk Nowitzki fulfilled himself a dream in beating the Miami Heat and winning the NBA title this summer|
On Sunday, NBA Finals MVP and German superstar Dirk Nowitzki was crowned Germany's Athlete of the Year 2011.
Nowitzki won ahead of Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel and table tennis star Timo Boll.
It was the first time for Nowitzki to be handed the prestigious award, which is the result of the voting of an expert panel of 1,500 sports journalists.
Nowitzki, who was not able to attend in person, due to the ongoing practice camp in Dallas, spoke to the audience at the ceremony via video broadcast.
"After so many years, this was the best year of my career by far." he said before adding jocular:
"Thanks a lot to the sports journalists. You proved for the first time that you understand basketball."
Nowitzki carried the Dallas Mavericks all the way to the NBA crown in the previous season, playing at his very best and defeating the Miami Heat in the Finals.
After the ceremonies in Dallas were over, Nowitzki went to Germany where he was celebrated frenetically all over the country.
"I will never forget the parades here [in Dallas] and in Würzburg. The festivities, the many people, absolutely crazy!" he looked back on Sunday.
The 2.13 power forward then joined the German national team, chasing a second consecutive berth at the Olympic Games.
Missing that goal and not being at his very best at the EuroBasket in Lithuania did not hurt his reputation as one of the best players ever.
Nowitzki is also a candidate for FIBA Europe Player of the Year 2011, an award he has already won in 2005.
You can read through his profile and vote for Dirkules here