You know who Dirk Nowitzki is. I know who Dirk Nowitzki is. We’re basketball fans, so that makes sense. But it also means four random Americans walking down the street have no idea who the best international player ever is.

From the Dallas Morning News:

As Dallas Morning News business writer Cheryl Hall noted in a recent article,”Nearly two-thirds of American consumers still don’t recognize the Mavericks’ superstar forward, even after Nowitzki’s stellar performance in the Western Conference playoffs, according to consumer feedback compiled by the Marketing Arm for The Dallas Morning News.” [...]

The most staggering figure found out from the study, however, is that Nowitzki isn’t even the most recognized player on his own team. That honor would go point guard Jason Kidd. “Nowitzki is practically invisible compared to Miami Heat superstar LeBron James, who is recognized by eight of 10 consumers,” Hall noted in her article. “Even Mavericks teammate Jason Kidd scores higher, with nearly half of consumers knowing who he is.”

Weird. You would think that after 13 years more people would be able to recognize a 7-foot German with flowing blond locks putting up All-Star numbers. This isn’t a case where you can’t recall if it was Ricky Davis or Larry Hughes who was the second-leading scorer on the 2007 Cleveland Cavaliers. Sweet-shooting giants with lion’s manes who have been the best player on their team for a decade don’t grow on trees.

But I guess it makes sense. My mom and sister wouldn’t recognize Dirk Nowitzki, so there are two people who don’t know the guy to my one who does. Too bad, really, since Dirk’s hilarious and really, really great at basketball. More people should know him because a lot of people would love him.

Of course, Dirk being in the Finals against a team that features LeBron James and Dwyane Wade should help to raise his profile. If that doesn’t work, he can always grow an Afro and dye it blond. Worked for Jason Kidd.