The Dallas Mavericks had a decade-long playoff drought in the 1990s before Dirk Nowitzki made the franchise an annual contender. From 2001 to 2016, the Mavs missed the playoff just once, including winning the championship in 2011. Nowitzki is a legend, the franchise GOAT, and one of the best players in NBA history.
The Mavericks made a smooth transition from one superstar to another as Dirk shared the court with Luka Doncic for one season. Luka won Rookie of the Year in Nowitzki’s farewell season as it provided a fantastic opportunity for the duo to bond, and MFFLs know they remain close.
To celebrate Dirk making the NBA 75, ESPN did a feature on the relationship between the Dallas Mavericks two biggest stars where Doncic admitted he was intimidated by Nowitzki early on. Here is a closer look at what he had to say.
Luka Doncic admits to being intimidated by Dirk Nowitzki in early days with Dallas Mavericks
The feature focuses on how Dirk and Luka made it to the NBA, their signature moments, and their relationship. During the part about Doncic being drafted by the Hawks and traded to the Mavericks in 2018, the 23-year-old superstar had this to say to Nowitzki.
"I got drafted and you were still on the team. When I first met you, I was so nervous. I didn’t know what to do. For like one or two months, I didn’t talk much to you because you are you and I was really nervous. But after one month or two, I got more comfortable and we started talking. Now, we are hanging out a lot. Everybody was asking me how it was being on the team with Dirk, and I said it’s just phenomenal."
Nowitzki is the best player ever from Europe, and he paved the way for Doncic to become a superstar so quickly in the NBA, so it should come as no surprise that the teenager was a bit nervous. Dirk was already a living legend by the time Luka arrived in Dallas. Fans can bet that Nowitzki welcomed Luka and helped ease the transition, despite Doncic being nervous around the Mavericks GOAT early on.
It is fantastic that the two are so close now. They flew to All-Star weekend in Cleveland together and spent plenty of quality time hanging out during the festivities. Dirk discussed their current relationship in early March, and fans can bet they are closer than ever.
The Dallas Mavericks are charging up the standings and look like a team that nobody wants to face in the playoffs. Luka Doncic is unstoppable, and fans know Dirk Nowitzki is watching the young superstar closely. The best is yet to come, so stay tuned.