NBA Q&A: Dirk Nowitzki

Posted by Unknown on Tuesday, April 08, 2014 with No comments
Courtesy of The Afternoon Show

On what would be a better playoff matchup for the Mavericks:
“I’m not sure. We’re taking it one game at a time, and I’ve said this over and over. It’s the worst cliché ever, but you really don’t want to look too far ahead. We’ve had some nice wins lately, yeah, but we’re not in. We’re not in yet.”
On his shooting coach Holger Geschwindner being in town:
“Little mistakes creep in over the years. I mean, I’ve shot so many jumpers, but I don’t really feel it creeping in. Sometimes you get worse, you regress, and then he comes in and, like, all we need is like 30-45 minutes for a session, and we can already see some improvement, get some of those little mistakes out … It helps my stroke, but it also helps my confidence. It’s, ‘Ok, my shot feels great. Now I can attack more … It’s mental as well, and a lot of this league is talent, but a lot of it is confidence, and if I just have it, I’m a different player, and sometimes when I miss a couple I get a little hesitant or whatever, but when Holger’s there, I’m confident and just keep attacking and keep shooting.”
On his recruiting visit to Kentucky in 1998:
“I can’t get into the specifics (laughs), but I did go to dinner. I did take a visit. I went to dinner with Tubby [Smith], who was the coach. I think Petino had just left and went to the Celtics back in his days as a coach/GM, so I went to dinner with Tubby and went out that night with, I think Scott Padgett was my host, and it was great. It was a great school, and I think they had just won it in ’98, so their dorm was unbelievable, and they really take care of their players there.”
On his college rooting interests:
The great thing is, when Kentucky’s in the Final Four, I can claim Kentucky, but I also visited Stanford and Cal, so it’s one of those things where I can say, ‘Yeah, that’s my team!’ and of course, SMU’s my team. I mean, I lived a block away from there for a long time, so I’ve got a lot of teams that I can claim, but it’s awesome.”
On if college was a serious option for him, and his path to the NBA:
“Yeah, it was, and I had basically two options: It was either college or stay in Europe with a big club. I visited Barcelona, Real Madrid, some of those teams, two teams in Italy and practice there and get better and better and then maybe try to jump in the NBA, and then what happened was I had that huge Hoop Summit game, kind of out of nowhere I came over, when we played the best high school guys in the U.S., and I kind of had 34 or whatever, and that changed everything, I mean, all of a sudden, I had agents calling Holger, and it was nuts just from that one game, I had scouts calling Holger, and numerous colleges—I think I had like 36 college offers. Yeah, it was kind of all in the open, but that one game, that Hoop Summit kind of changed everything, and then I ended up deciding, ‘Hey, let me try the NBA, and if it doesn’t work, I can always come back to Europe and play at a high level for a long, long time. I was a little worried about in college, since I was a seven-footer, that they might just put me in the weight room and lift weights for years straight, not even see the court, and make me strong, make me a back-to-the-basket player … And then I said, ‘Ok, I’ll try the NBA,’ and I was always really to have Nellie my first couple of years. He was perfect for my skill-set with the stretch-four and mismatches and stuff like that, and even in the NBA, it worked out perfectly, because he was the coach in the beginning in Dallas.”
On if he considers himself a true Dallasite:
“Yeah, I mean, this is my home for 16 years, and like I said on Conan’s show, I’m a true Texan now. I’ve been around for so long—it’s almost been as long in Dallas as I’d been growing up in Germany … I love Dallas. I have great friends over the years, and people have been great to me, so I see myself obviously as a half Dallas guy, so I support everything local, and I thought… I didn’t make it to an SMU game this year, which kind of makes me a little mad. I should have gone over there. I heard the new renovation to the stadium, I heard it’s great, so hopefully next year I’ll catch a game. I still think they got hosed in not getting in the NCAA Tournament, but hopefully next year.”
On Dallas-area bar The Loon closing:
“You know, that is crazy. I heard that a couple months ago. You know, we’re pretty close to the owner as well. We’ve been going there… When I first got to Dallas, we lived over there off of Lemon, and so Steve [Nash] and I, sometimes after games during the week, it was like 10:30, 11:00 p.m,, there was nothing open, no restaurants open, so we just went to The Loon, had a little pint after the game…”
On the pictures that emerged of him partying at The Loon:
“That was the off-season (laughs). Maybe a chicken sandwich or something after the game, so that’s how we got started. We went there, literally when we first got there 16 years ago, and the spot got bigger and bigger, and now it’s moving. But I think the owner will still keep it but will just have to move somewhere, so I’m sure we’ll find The Loon in a different location soon.”
On Steve Nash’s Grantland documentary series:
“It’s actually a little depressing, and he’s brutally honest in it, which I think is great to see what athletes think, what they go through at the end.”