Before the drama that was the NBA lockout, we had a very exciting finale to the NBA season that saw Dirk Nowitzki leading his Dallas Mavericks to both his and the franchise’s first NBA championship.

Since being drafted in 1998, Dirk Nowitzki has been the face of the Dallas Mavericks franchise. After a decade with the team it all came together for Dirk and they won the 2011 NBA championship. After that Dirk was also voted as the MVP of the NBA Finals. Two more accomplishments that he can add to his long list that includes being a 10-time NBA All-Star and league MVP in 2007.

One of the games best shooters, Nowitzki and the Mavericks were not even considered to win an NBA title. They crept their way into the playoffs and eliminated the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. Next, they would do the unthinkable and sweep the heavily favored Lakers in the conference semifinals.

The Mavs then took care of business by knocking out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 4-1, in the conference finals. In the finals, the Mavericks shocked the heavily-hyped Miami Heat, taking the “big three” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh out in six games and avenging Dallas’ loss to the Heat in 2006 finals.

Nowitzki was a different player this time around. Many had said that he quit on his team in 2006 and he was accused of being a “soft” player who wouldn’t go to the inside, choosing to shoot, instead. That all changed and Nowitzki and his Mavs dominated the Heat, who got a lot of, well, heat over accusations James disappeared down the stretch in games. It was Nowitzki’s time to shine and he can now call his career, though far from over, complete.