Career: Würzburg (Germany-2.Bundesliga, 1996-98), Dallas Mavericks (NBA, 1998-2006). Selected in the first round of the 1998 NBA draft (#9), by the Dallas Mavericks.
As unbelievable as it may seem, Dirk Nowitzki is still improving and refining his game. That's a scary thought when watching him lead the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA Finals in a season many thought the Wunderkind should have been selected the league MVP. There's hardly anything Nowitzki can't do. And the 28-year-old has developed into a vocal leader on the court. He's also crushed all talk that he's just a great jump-shooter. He has transformed himself into a dominant low post player, and he is still a great passer. Nowitzki has moved into the elite class in the NBA but will be motivated in Japan to show he can win the big one, after missing a late free throw as Dallas could have taken a 3-0 lead on Miami in the NBA Finals.
He definitely has the ability to lead a team as he proved last summer by taking Germany to the EuroBasket final in Belgrade and collecting the MVP award. He was also the Mavericks' main man in their run to the NBA Finals. Germany's chances at the 2006 FIBA World Championship will rely on Nowitzki.