Dirk Nowitzki is one of the top five players in the NBA, but he never gets the respect that the other stars receive. Dirk isn't flashy. He isn't selfish. He doesn't need or want the spotlight. And he's not a human highlight reel. It's those qualities that make him the best "team player" of the stars, but it's also the qualities that will never allow him the credit he deserves.
There is no one other than Kobe Bryant that is more clutch with the ball in their possession in the 4th quarter. All Dirk does is deliver big shot after big shot and carry his team in crunch time. Nobody can guard him one on one when he is determined to put the ball in the basket.
Dirk is currently ranked 4th in the voting for Western Conference forwards behind Kevin Durant, Pau Gasol, and Carmelo Anthony. While I appreciate the last two guys on that list, there's no way they belong ahead of Dirk.
My top five NBA players in no particular order: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant.