Dirk Nowitzki Told NBA To Keep His MVP Trophy After He Was Utterly Embarrassed By Mavs’ 2007 1st Round Playoff Exit

[Twitter/Screenshot/Public — @Rachel__Nichols]

Andrew Powell Sports and Entertainment Blogger
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Talk about keeping it real.

Basketball legend Dirk Nowitzki was the NBA’s best player in 2007, being named the MVP by the league after a dominant season with the Dallas Mavericks. But he almost didn’t accept the award after telling then-commissioner David Stern to give the trophy to somebody else after he was embarrassed with how the season ended.

During the 2006-2007 campaign, the Mavs were unreal, tallying up the best record in the NBA at 67-15. But despite the glorious season, they were upset in historic fashion in the playoffs by the No. 8 seed Golden State Warriors — a team that finished just two games over .500 that season. The Mavericks lost that first round series, 4-2.

The monumental bouncing sent Nowitzki home earlier than anticipated. But that didn’t take away from his fantastic season, averaging 24.6 points-per-game and 8.9 rebounds-per-game. In fact, it was such a great season that Nowitzki was named the Most Valuable Player over Steve Nash.

But after the extraordinary disappointment, an MVP award was the last thing on Nowitzki’s mind.

Speaking with Rachel Nichols in an interview for Showtime’s “Headliners,” Nowitzki said that he told Stern to give the trophy to somebody else after being embarrassed by his playoff exit. (RELATED: LeBron James Ties Tim Duncan For 4th-Most 20 Point, 10 Rebound Playoff Games Of All-Time)

“I was embarrassed. I let the city and my team down. All I wanted to do was go somewhere where nobody knew me and go on vacation or something,” said Nowitzki. “Then, sure enough, I got the call from the NBA saying, ‘You cannot leave yet. There is a chance you might get the MVP.’ I remember saying, ‘Just give it to somebody else.’ I was still so hurt. I was still so embarrassed about the situation… All I really wanted to do was be gone.”

Nowitzki ended up accepting the award, but labeled it as one of the “most uncomfortable moments of his career.”

And this is why I can’t help but to like Dirk Nowitzki — such a humble dude.