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 — 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.