Why Dirk Nowitzki Was Sorta Happy Russell Westbrook Blocked Him So Badly

Dirk Nowitzki was the unfortunate victim of Russell Westbrook’s athleticism in Game 3, with Westbrook viciously blocking Dirk’s dunk attempt. It was a spectacular moment for Westbrook, and a depressing one for Dirk…or was it? As Dirk told Tim McMahon of ESPN, Westbrook’s block might have actually been a blessing in a disguise.

Dirk was never the most athletic, even in his prime. Now that he’s in the twilight of his career, dunks are rare, and the risk of getting blocked by the rim is higher than ever. So maybe Westbrook did us all a favor with that stunning block. He helped Dirk maintain some of his dignity, and prevented us from seeing one of the game’s all-time greats suffer a terribly humiliating accident. That’s Russell Westbrook for you, always looking out for people.