Dallas Mavericks big man Maxi Kleber nearly gave up on his NBA dream because of injuries he suffered in Germany on his way up. Hear more on his story here.
The Dallas Mavericks were in the midst of a breakthrough season when play was halted on March 11 because of the novel coronavirus. They had 40 wins and a playoff position virtually locked up.
Numerous players on their roster were having career years. Maxi Kleber was among them. The 28-year-old posted new career-highs in minutes, points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and 3-pointers made per game. His shooting efficiency jumped too. Kleber played primarily at the five for the first time in his NBA career.
He was certainly an important piece in the Mavericks success this season. Hopefully, Kleber gets rewarded with his first playoff experience later this summer. The NBA’s plan to resume play is still being formulated.
In the meantime, Maxi Kleber went on the 77 Minutes in Heaven podcast. He delved into a number of topics in the wide-ranging interview.
On making it to the NBA
Kleber tells the story of him making it to the NBA. He dreamed of it as many kids do. As a teenager, his coach told him, “You have the talent to play in the first league in Germany”. Kleber quickly worked his way up the ranks in his native country. Injuries set him back a couple of times, though.
Kleber had this to say after suffering multiple setbacks.
"“Wow, maybe it not meant to be for me to be in the NBA because every time I felt like I was right there, something happened like I injured myself. I kept working. I kept staying positive… but I kind of give up on the NBA dream. It feels like it is not meant to be.”"
That was in 2015. Kleber then went to play for Bayern Munich. The Mavericks quickly found him and signed him to a contract. Kleber played two years in Munich before coming to Dallas. He made a point to restate that the injuries had him questioning if he could make it to the NBA.
Never give up on your dreams. Maxi could have, but the Dallas Mavericks would be missing an important piece if he did. Thanks for continuing to grind and believe in yourself.
Kleber discusses plenty in the interview including Dirk Nowitzki, different styles of coaching, and more. Be sure to check it out if you have some spare time.