Dirk takes backseat to Staubach, Sabonis

DALLAS -- Compared to Roger Staubach, Dirk Nowitzki comes up short. Arvydas Sabonis? Nowitzki doesn't quite measure up.

You think it's tough to be LeBron James these days, Nowitzki couldn't catch a break Wednesday afternoon. Well, maybe LeBron is feeling a little more heat being Miami's second (third?) banana.

Nowitzki, on the other hand, is basking in an unprecedented level of appreciation for not shrinking in Game 4 despite a triple-digit fever and his overall play leading the Dallas Mavericks back to the NBA Finals. But when compared against a pair of all-time greats, Nowitzki's point guard and general manager gave the Uberman the shaft.

Jason Kidd was asked if Nowitzki, the Mavs' unquestioned closer, was forging a reputation akin to Staubach, the Dallas Cowboys' two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

"Roger was one of a kind," Kidd said of Captain Comeback. "It's hard to compare Dirk and Roger, but hopefully at the end of his career he'll be able to be in the same sentence as Roger."

In a discussion of the best Europeans to ever play the game, Donnie Nelson sided with Sabonis. The Mavs GM does have close ties to the Lithuanian Hall-of-Fame center -- Nelson was an assistant on Lithuania's national team -- but Nowitzki wouldn't be in Dallas if it wasn't for the "Little Whistle."

Still ...

"If it's Dirk and Sabas -- Dirk in his prime and Sabas before his injury -- if I'm a general manager and I'm taking the first pick in the country, I'm sticking with the big guy, Sabas," Nelson said.


Don't forget the flu-game comparisons from Tuesday night with Michael Jordan. Yeah, Dirk loses that one, too.