|23 December 2011|
EUROPEANS IN THE NBA
|While most NBA players who didn't play in Europe during the lockout had a lot of spare time in their hands, Dirk has been busy collecting awards |
Another Honour For Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki's fame knows no bounds.
After being named as Germany's Athlete of the Year 2011 over the weekend, the NBA champion has received another honour.
The Dallas Morning News has named the NBA basketball icon as the Texas Sports Personality of the Year.
In the land of the Dallas Cowboys, seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and the Texas Rangers, the award is major recognition for Nowitzki, who led the Dallas Mavericks to their first NBA title this year and was also named as the Finals MVP.
The NBA's Most Valuable Player in 2007, Nowitzki was voted 2005 FIBA Europe Player of the Year after leading Germany into the EuroBasket 2005 Final in Belgrade.
He is a candidate for the top award in Europe this year as well.
Ricky Rubio, the three-time FIBA Europe Young Men's Player of the Year (2007, '08 and '09) will make his regular-season NBA debut on Monday with the Minnesota Timberwolves against Oklahoma City.
The former DKV Joventut and Barcelona point guard, Rubio has helped Spain capture gold medals at the last two EuroBaskets.
He turned his ankle in his pre-season opener with Minnesota against Milwaukee last week and sat out the T-Wolves' next game.
"I have a little pain, but not enough to stop," he said, when asked if he would play on Monday.
"I can't wait to play a real game in the NBA."
Rick Adelman, a veteran coach in the NBA who is now in charge of Minnesota, says fans need to understand there will be good days, and bad, for the team's first-year players in the league like Rubio.
"All the rookies are going to have their ups and downs," Adelman said.