NBA player Dirk Nowitzki poses in the press room with award for Best Team at The 2011 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)more pics » Dirk Nowitzki and some of the Mavs (Getty Images)
There are many reasons why we love sports, but at the top of the list is the fact that sports gives us drama and storylines and characters that better than anything anyone can come up with in the world of fiction. Dirk Nowitzki
was the epitome of redemption this year, taking the underdog Dallas Mavericks passed the vaunted Miami Heat for the NBA championship in a battle that boiled down to what some would call David vs. Goliath and others would go so far as to say good vs. evil.
After years of being called soft and being told he didn't have what it takes to get it done, Nowitzki shrugged off the doubters and put on an MVP performance against the much hyped band of paid-for all-stars known as the Heat. Nowitzki and the Mavs were the example of modesty and humility while the Heat were all show and no substance. Score one for the good guys.
In its annual rundown of the 49 Most Influential Men
, AskMen gathered more than 200,000 reader votes, along with their own editorial team's opinions, to compile a 2011 list that includes newsmakers ranging from actors to athletes to politicians and other visionaries in between. Whether through inspiration or contribution, these men defined 2011.
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