What-if Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash stayed together on the Dallas Mavericks?
Many Dallas Mavericks fans wonder how the two careers would have played out if they had stuck together. The team seemed to be on the brink of success in Nash’s last year, but couldn’t quite get over the Sacramento Kings or San Antonio Spurs hump.
Could they have won multiple championships? Team and player awards? Or were the two better off going down their own paths?
I know I loved the two playing together and was saddened when Nash left. These two are the reason I started watching basketball again during the 2000s. Growing up, I was more of a Chicago Bulls fan because of Michael Jordan. Once Jordan retired, there wasn’t much reason to watch basketball.
Until one day, my father took me to a game where the Mavs were playing the Vancouver Grizzlies. I remember the lasting imprint watching Nash and Nowitzki left on me. I wanted to see more.
Then, the Mavericks went on a 14-0 start to the 2002-2003 season. It was mesmerizing. I remember seeing Nash run up and down the court like a speeding blur while controlling the tempo of the game. I also remember seeing Dirk hit that patented one-legged fade-away.
They played great together, but it wasn’t until they parted that both grew into the best version of themselves. Nash went on to lead the Suns and have a marvelous career. Dirk became the greatest Maverick of all time, and one of the best the game has ever seen.
Their friendship has blossomed into something that has stood the test of time. Their bond was strengthened by going against each other. Yes, Dirk needed Nash to get better, but Nashty had to have Nowitzki to succeed as well.
Both players continue their friendship into retirement. Hopefully, they can work together in the Dallas Mavericks front office someday. Or at least help the new star duo of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis to new heights. Either way, both players were a joy to watch and made each other better.