Dirk Nowitzki sings ‘Born in the USA,’ unencumbered by knowledge of lyrics (VIDEO)

Ball Don't Lie

"You know, it's been way too long since 'We Are the Champions.' What the world needs now is Dirk, sweet Dirk." — the Dallas Mavericks' excellent in-arena video production team, getting back on the "cool" side of Dan Devine's ledger after "Whoop 'Em Mavericks Style." (Which, to be fair, was excellently done as "Gangnam Style" parodies go, but suffers from the fact that I believe we just celebrated the 250th anniversary of the release of "Gangnam Style.")

Obviously, Dirk Nowitzki + Bruce Springsteen + karaoke was destined to be a winning formula from the idea's conception, but the fact that Dirk very clearly doesn't even have a passing familiarity with the lyrics of "Born in the USA" makes this a championship-level performance. My best guess at transcribing Dirk's attempt:

Bored down in the dead mouse style

ANALYSIS: Pretty close ("Born down in the dead man's town"). So far, off to a good start.

Mleh vlah Carolina he null hair heeeenh

ANALYSIS: OK, we got kind of sidetracked here ("The first kick I took was when I hit the ground"). Still a couple of lines left in the opening verse to get back on target, though.

Very nut, hazy preach of what

ANALYSIS: We still haven't located the thread ("You end up like a dog that's been beat too much"), but we've got the general rhyme scheme and tone back, which is good.

Seldom chuh, ha, hoof duh, don't you cover it up now

ANALYSIS: Really rough start ("Till you spend half your life just covering up") but a strong finish.

All told, a less than stellar performance in terms of accuracy, but you can't fake that feeling. Like any great (read: appropriately drunk) karaoke performer, Dirk knows that passion's more important than precision; you'd be hard-pressed to argue that Nowitzki's not giving 100 percent here. Mavs fans can only hope he's putting in the same level of effort as he rehabilitates from knee surgery; in the meantime, they can run back this clip and celebrate their German hero's rendition of an all-American classic.

Video via the Mavs' YouTube channel. Hat-tip to SI.com's Rob Mahoney.

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