10. Dirk Nowitzki
I can't remember another NBA superstar having his personality transformed by an NBA title; if it happened with, say, Hakeem Olajuwon, I don't remember reading about it. Dirk's next few years will be interesting for historical purposes: In my basketball book, I ranked Bird, Duncan, Havlicek, Baylor, Erving, Pettit, Malone and Barkley as the greatest forwards of all time (in that order). Dirk already leapfrogged the last three; he's about to jump the next three; and if that happens, suddenly he's one of the best 12 or 13 players of all time by any calculation. He's also the greatest international basketball player ever ‚ÄĒ and actually, you could argue that the distance between Dirk and the next best foreign guy (Gasol, Ginobili) is more like a chasm.
Meaning only Duncan is considered better now according to Simmons.