In the NBA, I believe your top 3 players are the main contributors to whether you win or lose. The Boston Celtics owner outlined the plan at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.
The Dallas Mavericks did not follow this path. Sure, Jason Kidd is a Hall of Fame player, but anyone convincing themselves he is anything more than a role player at this stage of his career isn't being honest. Jason Terry's an undersized scoring 2 who doesn't do much else. Tyson Chandler is a good player but not an all star (or star however you put it) player. That leaves you with Dirk Nowitzki. As it appears the Mavericks only possess the top 50 of all-time caliber player. Jordan never won under that criteria. Bird, Magic, Duncan, Kobe, Wade, Garnett, Hakeem and Shaq didn't either. What Dirk Nowitzki did over the last month was special, considering he beat a team who best exemplify a Big 3 in the Miami Heat.
"That began with a standard business move: analyzing high-performing organizations to determine how the Celtics might build its own. 'We looked at the last 25 NBA champions,' said Grousbeck. 'Twenty-four out of twenty-five were won with a big three concept -- three all-stars. [That big three included] a top-50 all-time player and two supporting all-stars.'"
Normally, I don't think championships should value into individual evaluations, but this may be one of the exceptions.
Excluding the Pistons of 2004, no team has ever won a championship without the Big 3 method, until Dirk. Maybe all you need is one transcendent player to win it all. But this championship definitely elevates Dirk amongst the greatest of all time. He's definitely better than Kobe and probably Garnett. He's probably the 3rd greatest player of his generation at this point behind Duncan and Shaq. Maybe after we all are relinquished of our duties as prisoners of the moment, this thought will change but maybe this memory will get better with age, similar to wine.
Dirk Nowitzki is not too popular in America. Only 200 thousand like his Facebook page and recently a poll of Americans showed 2/3rd's of them had never even heard of him. Any comparisons to Kobe or Lebron are considered heresy (look at the reaction Barkley got when he called him better than Kobe) but in all fairness to the man he deserves some respect for his legendary performance(s) over the past 2 months. He beat a stacked Lakers squad with 2-3 future hall of famers, a talented OKC team with 2 stars, and of course the Big 3 of Miami, featuring Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.
Congratulations to Dirk Nowitzki, the man who may have debunked the theory you need a Big 3 to win it all. For that he's one of the greatest players of all time.