Nobody saw this coming. Nobody expected the Dallas Mavericks to win the NBA championships in 2011.

But Dirk Nowitzki, 32, finally pulled it off and grabbed his first NBA championship ring and his first ever NBA Finals MVP after closing out the Miami Heat 4-2 yesterday.

Along its championship path, the Mavericks also impressively dethroned Kobe Bryant's Lakers 4-0 in the western conference semi-finals.
Since joining the NBA in 1998, Nowitzki was always an all-star player but was never good enough to win it all. His Mavericks was known for blowing big leads and losing out to underdogs in the playoffs.

He came very close in 2006 to winning it all, notching the first two games against the Miami heat in the NBA Finals.  But eventually, they lost to Miami's Dwyane Wade, giving the Heat star his a first NBA championship ring.

Now, in 2011, Nowitzki is the underdog who beat the Heat's big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

He will now no longer be listed as a great player who has never won an NBA title along with Charles Barkley.

The win also brought the first ring for many veterans such as Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion and Peja Stojakovic.

Will Dirk Nowitzki now go down as a top 10 player of all time? He did beat King James and Dwyane Wade combined when Scottie Pippen said LeBron alone might be a better player than Michael Jordan.

Most people won't concede that Nowitzki is the best of all time or even in the top 10.  However, he certainly deserves a look for the title of the best foreign player ever.