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Nowitzki vs Shaq

Nov 9, 2007
It is one of the sportswriter's favorite tricks before every NBA finals to pick one leading player of each finalist team and call the series a duel between those players. This trick has been always really effective in the promotion of the game and of the NBA. NBA funs have watched a lot of those duels in the past: Bird vs. Magic, Jordan vs. Drexler, Olajuwon vs. Ewing or Robinson etc. The similarities and the differences between the duelers made the games even greater to watch, although we have to mention that basketball is a five against five sports, with the seven players of each team coming from the bench having also an important role in the game, not to mention the coaches, the general managers and the owners.

This year Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks are the two teams that will fight for the title and another duel has to be found. In the case of Dallas Nowitzki who is undoubtedly the best player in his team, things are easy. But in the case of Miami, some research on O'Neal's background was necessary to show that Dirk and Shaq have both the similarities and the differences to consist a "sexy" duel. They are both big men, although their game is totally different, they are both leaders in their teams, although having far different characters.

Both Nowitzki and O'Neal have started playing basketball in Germany. Dirk was born and raised in Wuerzburg, while Shaq spent some of his childhood in Wildflecken, where his stepfather Harrison was stationed with the U.S. Army. Most importantly, both of them want badly to win the NBA championship. The German forward has not won a title yet, neither with the Mavericks nor with the national team of Germany. On the other hand the American center, although he has already won three NBA champion's rings and one Gold Olympic medal in the past, he wants to prove that he is still the best in the league.

Moving to the differences that the two players have, the first one is obvious, O'Neal is an African-American, while Nowitzki is one of the few Caucasian players that became NBA stars. Dirk had played all his life in Dallas, while Shaq has played for three different teams in the NBA. Shaq had won many titles, but was always helped by great teammates, Dirk had won nothing but the only really great teammate he had was Steve Nash, who he left Dallas two year ago. O'Neal has a BA and an MBA, he had appeared in several motion pictures, authored two children books and he is an accomplished rapper. One of his nicknames is "the Big Aristotle for his composure and insights during interviews. On the other hand Nowitzki is mostly concentrated on basketball and he has been called "Dirk the Work" for his immaculate work ethic. He never attended college, he also loves music but he plays the saxophone instead of rapping.

The biggest difference between them will be though, that after the final series only one of those will have the title of the "NBA champion" of 2006.
About the Author
Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles on many topics including Sports , Recreation , and Games
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