Stars Around the NBA Talk the Legacy of Dirk Nowitzki
The legend of Dirk Nowitzki is not just praised around Texas, but also by some of the biggest names around the NBA.
Last summer, Dirk Nowitzki decided to re-sign in Dallas on a two-year deal that might be the last contract he signs in the NBA. This would give him 20 years in the NBA and 20 years with the Dallas Mavericks.
Something that simply isn’t done anymore.
Not only that, but Nowitzki is 6th on the all-time scoring list and moved into the 30,000 point club earlier this season. His 2011 championship run will be remembered by many, but the effect his career has had on the league is sprinkled among the best.
During the 2016-17 season, I talked with some of the best players in the league about the legacy of Dirk Nowitzki and what it is like suiting up against him.
“To have the opportunity to play against these guys I used to put all on the same team on my video game and make a cheat team.” -Lillard
“He has done so much for not only the NBA, not only in Dallas, but his country. From him, to Kob, to Timmy D, to KG (Big Ticket). They had a wave, those guys are legends. They opened the doors for younger guys like myself and other players who are flourishing. The best foreigner to ever play the game. He brought a championship here. He’s done so much for the game of basketball.” -Harden
“It is a great honor to be able to play against a lot of these guys before they walk away from the league. Duncan, Kobe, Vince Carter. Kevin Garnet. Guys like that has meant so much to the league on and off the court. To have the opportunity to play against these guys I used to put all on the same team on my video game and make a cheat team. I’m fortunate to be able to step on the same court as these guys.” -Lillard
“One of the most gifted players to ever come into this league.” -Cousins
“Extremely difficult. Extremely difficult to play against Dirk. One of the most gifted players to ever come into this league. He changed the game for bigs. He gave us opportunity outside of the box. His legacy speaks for itself. Not only one of the greatest overseas player, but one of the greatest players in general. Huge fan of Dirk. I love a big man skill and he is the prime definition of that. Like I said, his legacy speaks for itself.” -Cousins
“Dirk is cool man. I have gotten the opportunity to play against Dirk for a while now. He’s a great player and one of the best to ever play the game. Played in a number of all-star games with him. Dirk is great.” -Paul
Must Read: 10 Positives from the 2016-17 Dallas Mavericks Season
“He’s old like me and can score. He’s a great guy. He puts the team first regardless of what he has accomplished and that is pretty darn special for a guy of his caliber and what he has done in this leagues history. It’s all about winning and he will get his in the confines of what they do. It’s been fun knowing him for all of these years and playing with him.” -Carter
“For me, he’s been the greatest teammate I have ever played with. What we were able to accomplish together will never be repeated. Dallas’ only NBA Championship. I know how hard he works for that organization and I know what he means to that city on and off the court. He’s a friend, I texted him last night asking him how he was doing. Just a great great teammate and I learned a lot from Dirk by just playing with him and watching him and seeing what a professional is all about. And the work that he put in. He is truly amazing.” -Terry
“I will be forever indebted to him and I will love him forever because he helped me reach my ultimate goal as an athlete winning a championship.” -Chandler
“To me personally, it’s hard really to put into words quite honest. Just like a brother, inspiration, teacher, I learned so much from him watching him. Stuff that he doesn’t even know. Things that I have picked up in my time here. Him being the ultimate competitor, but not only that he changed the game. There is a generation coming up whether it is Porzingis, Dragan, that wants to be just like Dirk. That grew up watching him, idolizing him. Trying to patent their game after him and see if they can take it to the next level with their twist on what he created. Not only what he means to me, but what he means to the game, the city of Dallas. I was just telling my teammates I have never seen that level of basketball in my life in that 2010-11 run, I have never seen a player play at that level. To see how locked in and focused he was. As an athlete and competitor, I will be forever indebted to him and I will love him forever because he helped me reach my ultimate goal as an athlete winning a championship. He can call me anytime for anything, the only thing I can describe it as is brothers.” -Chandler
“He was an idol for me growing up and still is. Hopefully I have a chance to learn from him one day and actually get together with him in the gym and learn from him. Ask him as many questions I can and take as much as I can because obviously he won’t be in the league forever.” -Porzingis
“Growing up watching Dirk was amazing. He is one of the top players of all-time. He is a champion. The things he has done for the Dallas Mavericks, it will never be matched.” -Whiteside
More from The Smoking Cuban
- Dallas Mavericks: Tyrell Terry injures groin in summer league loss to Jazz
- Mavericks: How to maximize Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis pairing
- Dallas Mavericks: Did they do enough this offseason to jump into title contention?
- Mavericks: What to watch for as Dallas faces Utah Jazz in summer league
- Dallas Mavericks rumors: Bulls want first round pick for Lauri Markkanen
“One of the best players to ever play. He’s a legend. It is fun to be able to compete with him and sometimes match up against him even though he doesn’t even see me when I do switch on him. He’s a hell of a player man. When I was little younger, one of my good friends Jason Terry, I would come around and watch practice. Watch him workout. His workouts are amazing as well. You see why he is as great as he is.” -Thomas
“It has been an honor to play against him for so long in both of our careers. We don’t know when he is going to decided to hang them up, I don’t know when I am going to decide to hang them up. But I never take for granted going against the greats and Dirk is definitely that.” -James
Next: 10 Positives from the 2016-17 Dallas Mavericks Season
Dirk Nowitzki is one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball and everyone knows it…even the biggest names around the league today.