Dirk Nowitzki, Basketball Legend

To me, no player exemplifies Dallas sports like Dirk Nowitzki. Texas is obviously wild about football, and the Cowboys are the lead dog in terms of area sports teams (despite their amazing run of mediocrity over the last two decades). You could certainly also make an argument that most Dallas-area sports fans gravitate towards baseball and the Texas Rangers a bit quicker than the Dallas Mavericks. But in terms of iconic, legendary DFW athletes, in my mind Dirk is first.

If you were presented silhouettes of various sports stars of the past and present, it would be difficult to accurately pick out even some of the most famous Cowboys like Emmitt, Troy, and Roger. But Dirk’s famous shot? I’d be able to pick that out every time. The story of his NBA journey even reads like a novel. Learning to play with star friends like Steve Nash and Michael Finley, then having to learn to lead, and learn to be a superstar without them. Losing in the Finals in heartbreaking fashion to an underdog Miami Heat, then losing in one of the biggest upsets in playoff history against the 8th seed Warriors. The man refining his game, from a mostly perimeter player to a true in-the-paint threat. Then finally, returning to face the Heat and their superteam of Lebron, Wade, and Bosh, as an underdog and shocking the NBA with a 4-2 series win.

Dirk is the man, and I’ve wanted to draw him for quite a while. I have tried a couple of times, but never could capture a good likeness. Well, finally I think I got him! I drew one of my favorite images from that 2011 championship; Dirk driving the lane for the Game 2 winner, going right through the Heat’s Big Three of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh (bonus points for facing up Udonis Haslem too, a pest from the 2006 Finals). We’ve also got Jason “JET” Terry watching in awe, and Tyson Chandler boxing out Wade. That 2011 championship is my favorite sports memory, because it was just so sweet to see Dirk finally overcome the past.

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This drawing does seem a bit more like a less-refined sketch than some others I’ve done. But, I felt like it was right to stop there. I think Dirk, JET, Lebron, and Bosh are all fairly recognizable and somewhat accurately portrayed, and if I kept scribbling, I thought I might lose that. But, I’ve mentioned this in other drawings, I actually sort of like the half-finished look sometimes.

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