|26 January 2006|
FIBA Europe would like to officially announce Dirk Nowitzki as the winner of the 2005 FIBA Europe Player of the Year.
The German National Team and Dallas Mavericks star claimed the inaugural award by a wide margin. His 378 votes from the international media selection were 202 more than the second-place recipient, Lithuania’s Sarunas Jasikevicius.
Nowitzki had a phenomenal all-around season, both with his native country in EuroBasket 2005 and with the Mavericks in the NBA.
In the EuroBasket, Nowitzki led all players in scoring with 26.1 points per game and in rebounding with 10.6.
His points were hard-earned and timely as he frequently faced double-teams from the opposition and connected for a number of game-winning shots to propel Germany to their highest placement in the EuroBasket since 1993.
Nowitzki hit a game-winning three-pointer in the preliminary round against Russia with 27 seconds remaining and then poured in 33 in Germany’s next game against Turkey in an elimination game.
|Nowitzki hit a game-winning jumper with 3.9 seconds remaining against Spain in the semi-finals.|
With his team trailing by one in the semi-finals against Spain, Nowitzki hit a difficult game-winning baseline jumper with 3.9 seconds remaining to give Germany a 73-72 win.
Even in Germany’s gold medal game loss to Greece, Nowitzki was magnificent, scoring 23 points and grabbing 9 rebounds to keep his team in the game. When Nowitzki was pulled from the game with just over three minutes remaining and the outcome no longer in doubt, he received a thunderous standing ovation from a partisan Greek crowd.
“Dirk Nowitzki has no doubt established himself as the best player on the continent,” said FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin.
“The way he almost single-handedly carried Germany to the gold medal was simply amazing. His play over the course of an entire tournament was one of the best performances I have ever seen in an international competition.”
In his seventh NBA season, Nowitzki posted career-high averages in points (26.2), assists (3.1) and blocks (1.5), while also grabbing 9.7 rebounds a game.
He was named to the All-NBA First Team for the first time in his career and finished third in the voting for the NBA Most Valuable Player.
Nowitzki will be receiving the official custom-designed FIBA Europe 2005 Player of the Year trophy at a Dallas Mavericks game to be announced in the near future.
Breakdown of Votes for the FIBA Europe 2005 Player of the Year:
||Juan Carlos Navarro