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'Dirk NoRingski' Twitter Hashtag Gains Popularity

For reasons that aren't entirely clear, NBA fans seem to like picking on Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki. The 32-year-old former MVP is now playing in his second championship series, having lost his first chance at a title in 2006 when his Mavs couldn't protect a 2-0 series lead against the Miami Heat. Now, with Dallas in a 1-0 hole to Miami, Twitter users are harping on Nowitzki for having not won a championship, with the phrase Dirk NoRingski trending in the United States.

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This criticism of Dirk, certainly among the best players of his generation and inarguably one of the greatest players of all-time, misses the point. Of the 30 players on the teams participating in this series, only Miami's Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem have won a championship. Heat superstar LeBron James doesn't even have one, yet no punny version of his name is trending on Twitter.

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Judging players by championships won is silly anyway; is Will Purdue a better ballplayer than Dirk, or Karl Malone, or Charles Barkley, because he has a ring while they don't? Certainly not. We ought to appreciate players for more than how much hardware they own.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.