As an individual rivalry, LeBron James vs. Dirk Nowitzki doesn't have a lot of history to hype in advance of the NBA Finals. It's not Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird. It's not even James vs. Kobe Bryant. But give it a few days. The two biggest stars in the NBA Finals are both looking for a first championship that would put the finishing touches on a new legacy.
Playoff MVP to this point?
James is averaging 26 points per game for the Heat in the playoffs, while Nowitzki is second in the league at 28.4 points per game.
Better clutch player?
Both players entered the playoffs with questions about their acumen in big moments. Both answered time after time through three rounds.
Who needs the title most?
Winning a title was supposedly the reason James took his talents to South Beach in the first place, but would a title in year No. 13 help Nowitzki more?
More of an athletic marvel?
James' combination of size, power and vision is arguably unmatched, but is it more remarkable than a seven-footer with a game like Nowitzki?
Better basketball leader?
James took the Cavs to the NBA Finals once, the same number of times Nowitzki got there with the Mavericks before this season.