Looking back to when Dirk Nowitzki decided to join the Dallas Mavericks
By Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks GOAT Dirk Nowitzki decides to join the team in 1998
Dallas Mavericks fans may forget that drafting Dirk Nowitzki in 1998 was no sure thing. The team wisely moved down from sixth to ninth. It allowed Dallas to pick up the 19th overall pick as well. The Mavs wanted Nowitzki, so they grabbed him at nine.
They flipped the second pick to acquire Steve Nash. That gave Dallas two young talents to add to their roster. Michael Finley was their star at the time. He averaged 21.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.6 steals per game in 1997-1998. The Mavericks had not made the playoffs since 1990 and were coming off a 20-win season when they acquired Dirk and Nash.
It took two seasons before the Mavs took off. Fans know the rest of the story. Nash departed for Phoenix in 2004. Nowitzki went on to become the Mavericks GOAT after an incredible 21-year run with the team. Fans can read about Dirk’s best moments with the Mavs here.
Dirk Nowitzki decides to join the Dallas Mavericks in 1998 just days after being drafted
His legendary career allows his difficult decision to come to Dallas to be overshadowed. There were some serious questions about Nowitzki’s status after the draft. The talk went around of him staying in Germany or moving on to another European club as he continued to develop.
The Mavericks celebrated the anniversary of Dirk choosing to come to Dallas on June 30. See a video from the press conference below.
Talk about a decision that altered the team’s history. Who knows how Nowitzki would have developed if he stayed in Europe. Would he have come to the NBA at some point? It is a serious question. Luckily, Dirk came to Dallas in 1998. Mavericks fans cannot dream of him wearing any other uniform.
Hopefully, Dirk Nowitzki continues to enjoy his retirement. The Dallas Mavericks will continue to celebrate their GOAT. He is deserving of every second of it and more too.