The inevitable happened yesterday when Dallas Maverick Dirk Nowitzki was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player, becoming the first European to earn that distinction.

The moment was a little awkward in that the Mavs, with the best record in the NBA, were dispatched in the first round of the playoffs by lowly Golden State, which was just eliminated itself last night.  And it was the 7-foot Nowitzki who did a Claude Rains (the original Invisible Man) too often in that series against the Warriors.

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Dallas owner Mark Cuban sniffled his way through the ceremony, giving one of those, "I love this big lug" speeches.  And Nowitzki, much to his credit, admitted that it was difficult to fully celebrate the honor considering the playoff circumstances.

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