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May 05, 2007|By David Steele

Ponder this, before you ponder all the other things about the Golden State-Dallas series that just ended, especially Thursday's Game 6: If you were told before the game that one player would score 33 points, hit seven three-pointers and lead his team to a 25-point victory, and another player would shoot 2-for-13, miss all his three-pointers, score eight points and be the sixth-leading scorer on the losing team, and you had to choose which player was which, and the choices you had were Dirk Nowitzki and Stephen Jackson, who would you pick? Me, too.

Until last night. If David Stern does not immediately exercise his best-interest-of-the-game powers and institute a re-vote for Most Valuable Player, then the NBA rules should be rewritten.

There is no way that the MVP award, with names like Michael, Magic, Bird, Russell, Chamberlain and the rest, can be tainted with the name Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk got outplayed by Stephen Jackson.

The Mavs lost with Dirk gagging horrifically the entire final game, then reduced to being petrified of even going near the ball, then leaving with six minutes left.

He's made me rethink a lot about what I've said about Kobe Bryant recently. No way does Bryant pull a 2-for-13, eight-point, two-shots-in-the-second-half dog in an elimination game. Selfishness is nothing to be proud of, but it's better than cowardice.

david.steele@baltsun.com

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