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5 things that separate Dirk Nowitzki from other all-time greats

Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki
Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki / Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki
Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki / Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Separating Dirk Nowitzki from other all-time greats: 5. Loyalty

Dirk wanted to win and shared that incredible will to do it with the all-time greats, but he was a loyal legend. Others teamed up and tried to find different avenues to win a ring. Not Dirk. He stayed in Dallas for his entire 21-year career. The seven-footer was loyal to the Mavericks, even taking pay cuts, so owner Mark Cuban could improve the roster around him.

Nowitzki had plenty of opportunities to go play for another team. At the peak of his powers, every franchise in the league wanted Dirk. Kobe Bryant tried recruiting the Tall Baller from the G to join the Lakers, but Nowitzki took less money to stay in Dallas.

Dirk has a street outside the American Airlines Center named after him, and he will have his jersey retired by the Mavericks on Jan. 5. There will be a statue unveiling at some point, and Nowitzki deserves all of it and more.

Superstar players today admire Dirk’s loyalty and aspire to be like him. They want to finish their career only playing for one team. Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic had this to say about Nowitzki on Jan. 3.

Many of the all-time greats finished their careers wearing a different uniform as they looked to chase a ring or get a fresh start, but not Dirk Nowitzki. He played his entire career with the Dallas Mavericks, despite all those opportunities to leave.