Dime 1-on-1 NBA Tournament, NBA / Jul 15, 2011 / 12:00 pm

Dime’s 1-On-1 NBA Champion: Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki (photo. Monte Isom)

Conversation is the focal point of sports. We endlessly strive for absolutes when none exist. We make lists and rankings. We compare. And ultimately we arrive at arbitrary, widely accepted conclusions that inform the conventional conscience. We saw that manifest itself in Dime’s 1-on-1 Tournament. When Dirk dealt those deathblows to Kobe and ‘Melo, many of you scoffed. Angrily. When D-Wade decimated LeBron and any semblance of self-respect he had in the reserve tanks, you shook your head. Dissapointedly. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t surprised by these upsets too. But some knightly defenders of Dirk and Wade’s honor marched to the front of the battle line and fired their muskets right back.

Intelligent, well-thought out debate ensued (well, for the most part) in the comments section. I may write on this site, but I’m a commentor as well. I peruse more blogs and websites than I can count. When you put them all together, you get some mass cross-section of my tangential interests; other sports, of course, but some of the less worthy matters, too – movies, politics, history. That’s what this one-on-one tournament was. You had to set aside your five-on-five analytical mind and inherent bias.

Or maybe not. Maybe the magnetic emotional attraction that binds us to basketball led the way. Then again, who’s to say that one way ruled? Most of you probably went with an indefinable combination of the two. Or maybe I’m just talking out of my a**. Who knows. Regardless of your methods, your comments and votes presented your unique take. Often they clashed and battled with their 180-degree adversaries, but it made for great conversation and I’m glad that it happened. So thank you, kind Dime folks.

Anyway, let’s get this over with. But first the narrative of how your votes shaped the game.

D-Wade leapt out to an early lead with a layup, strip and pull-up jumper. The force was strong in this one. But I don’t need to remind you of Dirk’s resolve; he came back immediately by hitting an array of “you’ll never block this” fadeaways and “you had no idea I could take it to the rack” dunks. 4-2 was the score and it looked like these finals would have an anti-climactic finish. But the Dwyane Wade fans were having none of that. They stormed back, clicking their mouses and voting D-Wade back into the lead, barely. At 5-4, Dirk nailed two straight elbow jumpers to make it 6-5. From there, the basket trading began. Neither could stop the other’s bread and butter: Dwyane Wade with his “I refuse to finish with my left hand” Euro-stepping layups and Dirk with his patented rainbow fadeaway.

At 9-8 (Dirk leading), Dime commentor JAY’s precisely scientific sketch of Wade’s baby oil-lathered body slid past Dirk once again, but he blew the layup. That’s all that Dirk needed to pounce. Another jumper made it 10-8, and the NBA’s classic “I’m struggling for offense and slightly panicking so I’ll throw up an ill-advised, contested three” infected Wade’s mind. After gathering the rebound and clearing the ball, Dirk didn’t get fancy. Posting up Wade to protect the rock, he turned, rose (I guess “rose” is inappropriate when his vertical barely exceeds six inches) and fired. The swish sealed an 11-8 victory and another Dirk championship.

1-on-1 NBA Tournament Bracket

updated bracket w/ included equivalent scores (based on voting %)

So congratulations again, Mr. Nowitzki. You have conquered the game’s best in basketball’s most brutally honest genre.
-DYLAN MURPHY

THE RULES

What do you think?

Follow Dylan on Twitter at @ DylanBotB.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.

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  • Marci

    Absolute friggin joke.

  • Bo Knocks

    I’m not sure I agree with some of the earlier upsets.

    But really, who can stop a 7-footer, with touch like that, leaning 35º backwards?

  • sweetv0mit

    This was def good while it lasted so why not do a bracket with east and west teams? There’s really nothin goin on with the nba so might as well lol.

  • Spydermaan

    Worst 1 on 1 tourney ever

  • Big Island

    Even though there is no way Dirk would actually win a one on one competition in real life with some of the guys in this bracket, my wiener is SO hard right now.

  • Trey Bing Bay

    Wow, I guess Dime has a lot more German followers than I thought.

    If Dirk hadn’t just won the championship he wouldn’t have won this. What a waste of time. We should have just crowned Dirk at the beginning. Muppets.

  • Sean Sweeney

    Can someone better explain to me why Dirk couldn’t win this? 1 on 1, all Dirk would do is turn his back, take two dribbles, stop around the foul line and rain jumpers all day. He might miss once a game. I’d give him a better shot at stopping Wade a few times or making him miss than Wade does of stopping him.

    I just don’t really understand. Especially against D-Wade who would just have to pray he misses. He’s not a stereotypical isolation player, but that doesn’t mean Dirk wouldn’t be killer in an actual 1 on 1 game at the gym.

    In another lifetime if I was a good enough player to ever actually play these dudes 1 on 1, I would much rather face Wade than Dirk. Not even a question.

  • Max

    I think dirk won this tournament because his stock is the highest it has ever been and he faced some players with really polar public reps (Kobe/Any Heat Player). Also, I really don’t think he would be able to beat Melo, Kobe and Wade just back-to-back-to-back in his first try. Maybe he could do it like 1 out of 5 tries.

  • No Money

    This was essentially a 1v1 popularity contest and would never reflect if these players actually played actual 1v1 ball against one another.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ Sean – cosign. I’m not saying that Dirk would win every 1v1 tourney every time, but when you can’t stop someone, how can you win?

    It’d be like Shaq in 2000, Kobe in 2005…they each were just unstoppable.

    I’m not saying that Dirk has it like they did. But his shot is nigh unstoppable.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    i think i just seen a pig fly…

  • JAY

    “Can someone better explain to me why Dirk couldn’t win this? 1 on 1, all Dirk would do is turn his back, take two dribbles, stop around the foul line and rain jumpers all day.”

    ^ Yup. Haters, defend yourselves.

  • Rainman

    And rightfully so!

  • Rainman

    he’s the most unstoppable player with his unorthodox style… i dont get how u guys cna complain?

    But then again, most of y’all DID vote for Rose over Dwight so im not surprised LOL

  • Chief00

    You must have counted some three point shots for Dirk to win this competition. In the real world there is no way Dirk’s handle could have allowed him to get by the combination of offense, defense and sheer athletesism that is Kobe Bryant or D-Wade. The final round should have included either Lebron or Pierce over Dirk. Dirk is a unique talent and a champ for sure, but only as the #1 part of a team; never as a one on one player.

  • Keith

    Can’t blame dime for the results, the readers gave him the majority vote. I think you gotta remember that Dirk dealt with everybody that was guarding him in the playoffs. Would Wade be able to live with Dirk’s offense when he’s giving up 8 inches in height and god knows how much in wingspan?

    Dunno if Dirk could stop Wade either, but not like this is complete BS or something. Dirk just finally showed what he always was and is – a matchup nightmare

  • Rainman

    @ keith: i think u got it down right, Dirk winning this tournament is not because he’s the BEST player in the League, Dirk wins it because he is the biggest mismatch, no matter who you put on him.

  • fiyaman

    sorry DIME MELO is the best 1 on 1 player then Kobe.. i dont even think Dirk is top five

  • JAY

    @Chief “In the real world there is no way Dirk’s handle could have allowed him to get by the combination of offense, defense and sheer athletesism that is Kobe Bryant or D-Wade.”

    So?? Who cares about the handle? It’s not like he needs to shake anybody off the dribble to get by them.

    Let’s go through a “real world ” scenario. You’re D-Wade. Dirk’s ball. Check ball. He’s in the triple threat. You lay off him. 3-Ball.
    Next Dirk possession… check. He looks at the rim. So you play step up. He blows by you. Lay-up.
    Third Dirk possession… check. Wade is in his shorts, Dirk puts the ball on the floor and gets passed Wade on the first step, but Wade is recovering fast… pull up.
    Next time Dirk has the ball. Keep in mind he just hit a 23-footer, a layup, and pulled up on a Dime. Check. Now how do you defend him. He looks at the rim. You step up. He jabs step toward you, you back off. Now what?

    It’s wack because people think you need to have a serious handle to win one-on-one. Dirk, if he wanted to, could back Wade down to 15 feet, turn around and shoot that simple jumper. Cash. Where does the handle come in? MJ didn’t often show his handle and he’s the GOAT. In MJ’s words, “it’s a waste of energy.”

  • fiyaman

    n Dirk doesnt that advantage over MElo that everyone is talking about he has over he rest of the plays.. all melo would do i get in his face n shut him down

  • Sean Sweeney

    ^Melo is not shutting anyone down

  • http://thesphericalstudies.blogspot.com Professor J

    Let’s be honest: dirk is the flavor of the month and getting his rightfully deserved kudos. Doesn’t mean he deserved to win this competition. I wouldn’t put it past Heat haters, including those pathetic “Cavs for Mavs” people, to vote dirk.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    @everyone that picked Dirk to win

    If Dirk can take out Wade, Kobe, Melo in 1 on 1 and those guys can a take out Lebron, Durant, and Pierce. you make it seem that Dirk could even beat MJ in 1 on 1 since Dirks a huge mismatch and so unstoppable. be true to yourself, if Dirk can beat all those guys he can take MJ too right?

    i look forward to your honest responses…

  • Big Island

    Guys. It’s a hypothetical one on one tournament. It didn’t actually happen. Dick Dastardly would beat up Boris Badenov. A shark would eat a T-Rex. Santa would kick the easter bunny. NONE OF THIS SHIT ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!!! Any top tier player can beat any other top tier player one on one at any given time. All it takes is a hot hand. Dirk has size, range, and a fadeaway.

    Chief00 – Handles are so overrated. The only dudes who do 97 crossovers, followed by 18 between the leg dribbles, are the guys with absolutely NO shot. No shot. None. What has 2 thumbs and doesn’t get crossed over because he plays 5 feet off of you begging you to shoot? Big Island, nice to meet you.

  • Ian

    panchito
    who told you mj is the best one on one player ever??

    did i vote for dirk to get pass manu hell no but him winning this thing is not a surprise he cant be guarded and def not by a midget like wade.

    handles?? the most overrated part of a one on one game prob. i cant dribble for shit def not fast and there are like 2 dudes that can beat me one on one where i play. im one of the tallest and prob the strongest theres no way a quick midget is gonna stop me from getting point blank shots.

    did someone post melo is shutting dirk down?? my mom can drop at least 7 on melo.

    btw we dont know how any of these dudes will really do one on one so whoever won this thing cant be the wrong pick.

  • Ian

    big island agree

    panchito then again hehe do you see wilt losing a one on one?

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    @Ian

    to answer your question, no one told me MJ is the best 1 on 1 player ever. now answer my question please…can Dirk beat MJ since he can beat all these other superstars

  • Ian

    why cant he?? who knows?? can mj guard dirk no?? can dirk guard mj?? no. so yeah dirk can beat him. now you gotta stop thinkin that mj beating dirk and specially wade/kobe is a sure thing.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    @Ian

    im happy and proud that you stuck by Dirks side. im just hoping that where ever you go and hear MJs name you mention to the people around you that Dirk can beat him 1 on 1.

  • Ian

    mj didnt play against sgs like him. in the 00s we have seen guards like kobe/manu/wade/tmac/carter (toronto carter) even the ones on a lower level like a prime richardson and finley woulda given mj more game than shooters like reggie and houston or good playes with no teams like richmond ever did. mj might be the goat theres no arguing that but the lack of competition at sg helps a bit just like it helps howard today being a center. just my opinion.

  • Ian

    panchito im sorry but your last post makes 0 sense. you asked something that the answer youll get is just an opinion right? so i can answer however i want right? now again how do you know jordan is the best 1 on 1 player ever?? did you use a crystal ball for that or should i ask that to everyone i talk to when i go out?

  • http://www.obeydirk.com curtis black
  • First & Foremost

    I can’t imagine Dirk beating Manu let alone making it to the finals. “He beat everyone he faced in the playoffs.” That is a fact. Another fact is that in 1 on 1 guys aren’t getting into foul trouble. Another fact is that Dirk would have taken a physical beating be either the sheer strength of Melo or the constant elbows to the ribs by Kobe or even the constant forearms slaps by Manu.

    No one said this tournament was played fair. Guys aren’t giving you space and letting you shoot without sliding underneathe you, hitting your elbow, and bumping you on the way up. Dirk is a good player but he has never shown a mean streak to do the little things to get by in a 1 on 1 game.

    Can someone explain how Dwight does not push Rose under the basket each time? The very first time Rose reaches around to steal the ball, he is catching an elbow to the face. How many elbows does it take for you to stop doing something? And I digress.

    Dirk and his unstoppable jumper. Okay… The very first time he turns around to shoot it from the free throw line, I’m raking his arms. Check ball, do it again. Call the foul if you want to. I’m not expending less energy fouling you, than you are trying to fight through it. 1 on 1 is a war of attrition.

  • Scott

    Herky Jerk Dirk J’s all day

  • First & Foremost

    Correction: I’m spending less engery fouling than the other person is fighting through it.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    @Ian

    your comments are very confusing. in comment #25 you say you didnt vote for Dirk to get pass Manu and when asked if Dirk would win against Ginobli you said “HELL NO”. but when i ask you if Dirk can beat MJ 1 on 1 you say “yeah”. so not only Dirk could beat MJ but Manu can too?

    STAND RIGHT THERE

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    @Ian

    why does my last post make no sense? i never said MJ is the best 1 on 1 player, where are you getting this from? and i said i happy and proud that your have an opinion. i just hope that you give your opinion to everyone else when MJs name is brought up around you, thats all. im not saying your wrong or anything, seems like you think im disregarding and disrespecting your comments and thats far from true…

  • Ian

    panchito
    my bad kinda thought u were.
    ok the first part i did say dirk shouldnt beat manu just like he shouldnt beat jordan or the other he beat but im sayin he has a chance. just like the others have advantages over him he has some over them.

    i know you didnt say jordan is the best but when you said that if dirk can beat kobe/wade then can he beat jordan thing it sounds like mj is better for sure one on one than them.

    dirk shouldnt have been the fav against the players he got one on one but that being the fav is not a sure win.

    and no hehehe i wouldnt get into that dirk mj thing with most fans many of them are kinda blind.

  • First & Foremost

    @Panchitoooo & Ian

    The tournament is over and you two are still going back-n-forth.

    Chill out!

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    You chill out Mr Slap Happy Defense…lol…but real talk thats what you have to do with big guys. i already taught my nephew that once you step on a street court to go up to the biggest guy and once he gets the ball down low rake him hard across his arms when he trys to go up. make sure he knows what a foul really is and that it aint going to be a cake walk inside the key, no matter how big he is. the thing is after you rake him hard you gotta smile and dont follow through that much or you may start a fight.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ Professor – he’s the “flavor of the month” because he just won the title. He’s at the top of his game right now. If a guy is on the top of his game, why can’t he win?

    @ panchitooo – like i said, I think that there are guys that could definitely take Dirk. He just didn’t run into many of them. I think that Dirk would probably trade games with most players, depending on if his jumper was on. Which it usually is.

  • nizzio

    I can name e people on top of my head who can beat Dirk: Melo, Wade, Kobe. This shows how unknowledgable the fans are.

  • Ian

    first
    comon man let us argue since we wont have nba till 2015

  • King

    The majority of Dime reader’s bball knowledge should be questioned

  • King

    I think people were forgetting defense in these match ups. Id bet money that Kobe would get more stops guarding Dirk than Dirk would get guarding Kobe.

  • Dayinho

    Dirk is double-teamed since he’s a dominant player. He never played against just one defender. That’s why everyone think that he can score on anyone in the league, especially shooting guards.

  • First & Foremost

    @46 Playing 1 on 1, unlimited fouls, is tougher than most double teams. This isn’t guys playing mime defense. This is two guys in a phone booth trying to breakdance like the other person isn’t there.

    If you drive to the basket and we are step for step, I am tangling arms making your pull up that much more difficult.

    As the tournament progresses you can expect things to get chippy. Melo vs Dirk knowing Kob is going to win his matchup and you think the kid from Baltimore by way of New York is just going to let someone win, fair and square. The guy scored 33 points in a single quarter, he only has to get to 11.

    I see the logic in Dirk winning. I just think no one bothered looking at The Rules to see how this game differed from the NBA.

    You guys are a disgrace to WWII veterans. (j/k)

  • control

    The huge disappointing thing I seen in this tournament was people completely disregarding size and height. Those things are HUGE in 1on1, unless you have speed which is insanely blinding (which only Rose and maybe Monta have in this list of guys), it doesn’t help as much as just sheer size.

    In 1on1s, I beat people who were faster than me because I had 4-8 inches on them (and therefore, 8-16inches of reach on them usually) which really makes up for guys getting at least one step on me. Shit, I’ve had guys get 2-3 steps on me and I’d still block or affect their shot because I was able to jump high and have a huge wingspan. I honestly don’t think I’ve lost a 1on1 to anyone shorter than 6’3 or 6’4, and I’ve lost to a guy who was 6’10 but could shoot fadeaways. I’m not even a pro, and don’t have pro skill, but because of my size/speed combo, I could beat guys who were…that shit is IMPORTANT.

    F&F

    The scenario you describe means Dwight or LeBron would win 100% of the time against all the other guys. Chris Paul, Monta, Durant and PP would be too weak to even score one point. Kobe, Evans, Wade and Manu would be injured before one game was finished. Melo, Dwight, Amare and LeBron would pretty much be the only guys who’d be able to power a shot up, with the other guys being able to rush shots up or occasionally blow by their guy enough to avoid contact.

  • control

    Also, every match up Dirk played was against guys who pretty much had the same advantages/disadvantages against him. Dirk would lose against LeBron, Dwight, Amare or maybe Durant. They are the only guys who have strength and speed enough, while not giving up much height. None of the other guys could even touch his shot, while Dirk could affect theirs.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ First – if I was 7 feet tall, I’d be leaning over the top of every single person I played against. They wouldn’t even get a shot off! So your defense theory doesn’t really work out in their favor.

  • Rainman

    @ First and Foremost: “Dirk is a good player but he has never shown a mean streak to do the little things to get by in a 1 on 1 game”

    what MORE does the guy have to do?? ppl used to say that about him in a 5 on 5 game, for 48 minutes, he proved em all wrong, he does have that ability when it comes down to it, and 1 on 1 is what all that stuff comes down to, in my books, its a well deserved win.

  • Speak Up

    So he wins a NBA Championship and now all of a sudden he’s untouchable? All of a sudden Carmelo wouldn’t light him up? All of a sudden Kobe wouldn’t give him buckets? All of a sudden, D-Wade won’t bury him? I like Dirk but let’s be real here.

  • ash

    speakup, no one is saying any of those guys cant give dirk buckes.

    dirk wins because all those guys give up 6 inches to dirk. dirk’s post up fadeaway is the most un blockable shot in the nba since the sky hook. oh and by the way, dirk is a better shooter than all those guys.

    dirk has more heart than carmelo, both cant play d, dirk is a better shooter dirk wins.

    against wade, wade is giving up 8 inches. cmon man, this is the nba and wade is playing against the best in the world, wade has no shot due to the height.

    kobe is gettin old, cant d dirk on the post.

    again, all these guys would give dirk buckets, but dirk’s height, shot and the fadeaway comes through.

  • M Intellect

    @JAY – DIRK 1st stepping D-Wade?! GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE. D-Wade giving Dirk an uncontested 3? GET THE ENTIRE FUCK OUTTA HERE.

    If you are MUCH quicker then someone, why would you need to back off them? That right there, despite your smart previous posts, shows me you’re an armchair baller. Anyone who plays ball knows that.

    The reality of the situation is when Dirk checks the ball outside the 3, his options are this: 1. Shoot a contested 3 or 2. Back D-Wade down. From 24 Ft.

    He simply cannot beat D-Wade off the dribble.

    To be honest, Dirk wouldn’t have even got past Carmelo because he wouldn’t be able to 1st step or get THAT clear a look against him and ‘Melo would be BLOW past him and even if Dirk was with him, he’d finish over him. People talk about ‘Melo’s D but remember it’s easier to hide on D in a 5-on-5 then it is a 1-on-1.

    Dirk is a great player but his game is not suited for 1-on-1 play. FACT.

  • First & Foremost

    If you were 7 feet tall, chance are you can’t keep up with many players. Just about everyone Dirk faced can play above the rim with ease. Dirk has never been the type of defender that has timing to pin or smack shots off the backboard. In these games, if Dirk misses he now falls behind because he can’t stop anyone.

    All of Melo’s shots would have been from 5 feet and in. Wade checks the ball and before Dirk even has a chance to talk trash, Wade is at the rim. In order to have a proper handcheck you need to be able to slide your feet and still stay step for step. Dirk can’t even stay step for step with Glen Davis but we expect him to kep Manu-Melo-Kobe-Wade out of the paint. If you guys say so.

  • G14CLASSIFIED

    @ control
    Playing against little kids doesn’t count.. Come down to
    willo courts and then talk… I can guarantee you’ll be picking up your laundry when i’m thru with you. Can you say a-n-k-l-e-b-r-e-a-k-e-r???

    @F & F
    I’m sorry but you cannot just keep fouling the other player, regardless if its a 1 on 1. I’m certain you have never practiced what you’ve preached, coz if you do, it’ll either start a fight, or people just wont want to play with you. There is an unwritten code among true ballers on how to behave on the courts, even in streetball.

  • Ty

    Melo just watched this and LMAO’d hard.

    Most guys here are saying Dirk’s unstoppable on O. I’m saying Melo’s goddamn awesome on O and good enough on D to bother Dirk. Sadly, I can’t say the same about Dirk…..

    My ideal pick would’ve been Melo vs D12…..

  • Kyle

    I guess none of you were known as great shooters in highschool or college. You know that you can beat almost anyone one on one. They rarely want to guard you from deep… and after you hit a bunch of jumpers in a row, they’ll jump at the lamest pump fake, and you’re able to get an easy layup. The only guy who could actually put enough pressure on Dirk offensively is Melo. He has a sweet 18 foot jumper, he can catch fire, and also will use his strength to get inside for a layup. If he misses it, he has a sneaky explosive second jump that beats almost every NBA player it seems. A guy who could beat any of these guys if he got the ball first is Steve Nash… he easily gets into the lane drawing a double team so someone gets a dunk or layup, but instead he’d kill anyone with his hard drive, then turnaround fade away 10-12 foot jumper. All time, Bird and Jordan would be the toughest guys to beat.

    @Ty Melo would be a great matchup, but he doesn’t have a shot that can’t be blocked and his shot isn’t always perfect. But if he caught fire, he’d beat everyone in this. I’d still love to see Nash, just cause he’d drive around always keeping his dribble alive, and there’s no shot clock so he’d find ways to get off balance reverse layups, horse shot style fade aways after driving hard, pump faking and doing up and unders or wild left handed hooks that he did a few times last year. Chris Paul would also be fun to watch against a bigger guy.

    But D12 couldn’t beat any of these guys… he has absolutely not game from more than 10 feet from the basket, and he’d travel, commit offensive fouls, have the ball stripped by any smaller guys. You also don’t have to respect his shot at all… of course another fun guy to watch would be the Custodian. He’d just foul the sh!t out the guy every time.

  • http://dimemag.com/2011/07/dimes-1-on-1-nba-champion-dirk-nowitzki/ Jordan

    At first; when this one on one tourney started; I thought this would be very interesting and fun and I thought the only people who could win was Kobe and Kevin Durant. But DIRK….? C’mon now; I know u had to show respect to the NBA champion but Dirk maybe would have beaten ‘Melo in a very close game; but in real life Dirk stands NO chance against the next competitor Kobe Bean Bryant! Kobe will just use his skills and his unlimited perimeter moves to beat Dirk off the dribble at will. OK; so basically the worst defender outta all the competitors on here wins it all? This 1 on 1 competition started out good and ended VERY BAD! Also everyone would have wanted to argue about a Kobe vs Wade showdown; so Kobe should have advanced (Kobe vs Wade is much more interesting than Dirk vs Wade). Wade aint even a great 1 on 1 player.

    Here is my bracket(starting from 2nd round)
    James vs Pierce: winner= Lebron. SCORE LBJ-11… Pierce-9
    (Pierce would not be able to stay in front of Lebron)

    Wade vs Durant: winner: Wade (I originally had KD but the more I think about KD’s not so great defense and Wade’s quick crossovers and speed I think Wade wins in a close game.
    SCORE: WADE-12 KD-10

    Dirk vs Carmelo: Dirk wins. Melo is a bad defender on average 18-20ppg players players like Pierce (who lit Melo up in the playoffs) So there is NO way Melo can guard Dirk! Dirk has problems defending quick players from perimeter but Melo does lots of his damage in the mid post area.
    SCORE: Dirk-11 Melo-8

    Kobe vs Rose (Kobe and Rose are my top 2 favorite players; but this is by far the easiest winner on here.)
    SCORE: Kobe-11…Rose-2
    (*Kobe is still a great defender and he will be able to guard Rose mre than Rose can guard him. Kobe will be able to keep Rose in front of him; but there is no way Rose can guard Kobe AT ALL in the post or stop him from going baseline.)(Kobe and Wade are the hardest players to stop going baseline)

    Lebron vs Wade: (Lebron and Wade; 2 very similar players in their own ways. Wade is a better dribbler than LBJ, but even though Lebron is limited in the post; he is so strong and about 5 inches taller than Wade he will be able to take advantage of Wade. They are both about the same speed so that’s not really a factor)
    Winner:Lebron
    Score:Lebron-12…Wade-10

    CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND
    KOBE VS LEBRON: (This is the matchup everyone wants to see. And NO I did not purposely make these 2 advance becuz they are the most popular players in the NBA; But becuz they had more advantages than their previous opponent. OK LBJ is stronger than Kobe; but that is bout it. Kobe is still a crazy goos 1 on 1 defender so LBJ wont be blowing by Kobe easy like some casual fans would think. Kobe has WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY more of an arsenal of moves than Lebron; and Kobe is the only wing player that can post Lebron up and be successful doing so. So Kobe can pull up for jumpers on LBJ, he can post him, he can attack from triple threat. Lebron is bigger than Kobe by about 60 pounds but lacks an array of post moves so Kobe should not have too much trouble guarding LBJ in the post. The only LBJ would beat Kobe is if his jumper is falling on that particualar day. Other than that he cant blw by Kobe easily, he cant post Kobe.) Winner=Kobe
    SCORE: Kobe-11… Lebron-9

    *My bracket is much more likely; becuz in real life there is NO way Dirk wins it all in 1 on 1 against players like Kobe, Durant, Wade and Lebron. Dirk’s defense is just too bad to stay in front of any of those guys.

  • Celts Fan

    @jordan- I agree w/ a lot of your points, but “Kobe can post LeBron up”??? come on bro. your homerism is showing.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    This was a competition based on reader votes. There’s going to be a bias. In years past, no way Dirk wins this. He just won a chip, so it must be for that reason that he won this tourney.

    OR he’s at the top of his game now and people finally are recognizing that he’s a dominant player.

    You could make an argument for ANY of the players on this list, and someone might agree with you. Simply put, Dirk has a unique set of skills that could allow him to win this thing.

    Saying that there’s “no way” that he would win is narrowminded. Dirk’s too slow to stay in front of these guys? It’s not like he’s in the NBA because they like the way he smells. He couldn’t get a first step on them? Even though he does that from time to time? At 7 feet, you don’t think he’d bother a shot or two? Who exactly can bother his shot, which goes in over 50% of the time anyway?

    If you really think you have the answers for those questions (and more), then you probably need to take your Kobe-in-2005/2006-style blinders off.

    Think about the things that bug you in 1v1. If the guy has size or can shoot, you’re in for a tough game. If he has both…what’s your game plan? Invoke your shoe contract that says “Nike/adidas/Reebok/Li-Ning/whoever says that I’m the shit and can blow by anyone at will (even though my shooting % is worse than Dirk’s), so everyone should vote for me,”?

  • leech

    Didn’t Steve Nash and Dirk play one-on-one regularly when they were on the Mavs, with Nash winning regularly? Doesn’t seem like Dirk’s length affects his smaller, quicker, crafy opponent as much as others on this forum seem to think. Has Dirk improved so much in the past 8 years?

  • Nike Summer

    @Jordan
    You’re obviously a Kobe fan. First of all, if Dirk can beat Melo, he can surely beat Kobe. And second, there is no way in hell that Kobe can drive against Lebron all the time when he can’t pull up some jump shots. And vice-versa, he can’t pull up jump shots all the time when he can’t attack the basket. As for LeBron, he can blow by anyone in the league and attack the basket anytime he wants especially against weaker opponents.

  • mike

    Ya’ll got caught up in Dirks 15minutes of fame, he could probably beat a few guys on this list but kobe & dwade? IF dirk missed a shot he wouldn’t get the ball back against either of them.

  • Cary

    Don’t forget shooting guards like Mitch Richmond, Ron Harper, John Starks and Clyde Drexler that Jordan had to go up against. Jordan played out of position that he faced point guards like Kevin Johnson, Allen Iverson, Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas. He matched up against small forwards like Dominique Wilkins. One of Jordan’s favorite things to do was to challenge 7-footers, ask Patrick Ewing. I’ve never seen a guard dunk over so many 7-footers.