When I was asked to pick the most amazing sports moment of 2011 the first thing I thought of was when Dirk Nowitzki drove for a left-handed lay-up and hit the game winner against the Miami Heat in game 2 of the NBA Finals. I am probably biased in picking this as the #1 highlight in 2011 because my primary sport is basketball; I have watched and played ball my whole life. But even if you don’t like basketball, once you know the facts, anyone would agree that this was an impressive performance of athleticism and worthy of the top spot.
First off, Dirk Nowitzki is right-handed so the very act of shooting the ball with his left is more difficult. Also during the game 1 loss in Miami, he tore a tendon in his left middle finger. But Dirk still led Dallas in a comeback from a 15 point 4th quarter deficit in game 2 and ended the game by driving left on Bosh to tie the series at 1-1. So Dirk had the confidence in his ability even with the injury to take the open lane on the weak side for the game winner and this changed the whole outcome of the series. See for yourself.
Here is the clip of the clutch shot:
I also think that Dirk is one of the greatest players of our time even though he may not be as flashy as some of the superstars. Dirk has consistently shown that he has the drive to be the best. Just like in those same Finals, in spite of having a 101° fever in Game 4, Dirk scored another winning basket to tie the series yet again at 2-2. Dallas went on to win the next two games, with Nowitzki scoring 10 fourth-quarter points in the series-clinching game in Miami, bringing the first championship to the franchise. In the series, Nowitzki scored 62 points total in the six fourth quarters, equaling the combined fourth quarter points scored of both James and Wade! I was excited to see that a great player like Dirk Nowitzki finally won the championship he deserves.