Learn about Dirk Nowitzki, the best basketball player that Germany has ever had
Dirk Nowitzki is not only the highest paid German sportsman and the best basketball player that Germany has ever had; he has also already become a legend in the course of his sporting career. During his 16th season in the National Basketball Association (NBA), the US league that is considered the best in the world, the talented player joined an illustrious elite group in his sport: Nowitzki scored more than 27,000 points in the NBA – for a single club, the Dallas Mavericks. This makes him the best foreign NBA player of all time. “It feels unreal to be counted among all the names that mean so much to this sport,” says the still modest superstar, who was born in Würzburg, Bavaria, in 1978.
He has long been worshipped by the fans in Dallas – even before he led the Mavericks to the NBA League Championship in 2011, becoming the first German ever to become NBA Champion. The Texan city and the enormous American Airlines Center (20,500 seats) where the “Mavs” play have become Nowitzki’s home since he moved from Bavaria to the United States in 1998. His mentor Holger Geschwindner discovered his talent, made him a professional and still supports Nowitzki today as manager and trainer. Together they practised and perfected Nowitzki’s now famous shot, the so-called fadeaway. The one-legged jump shot while jumping backwards (Americans call it “Dirking”) is difficult to execute, almost impossible to defend against for opposing players and has often been imitated. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the documentary film about Nowitzki that appeared in German cinemas in 2014 was called: The Perfect Shot. Despite his height of 2.13 metres, the 36-year-old is an enormously versatile player.
European basketball championship also taking place in Germany
In summer 2014 Nowitzki forewent over half of his pay so that the team could hire stronger players. Whether he will play for the German national team at FIBA EuroBasket in September 2015, which is partially being held in Germany, is uncertain in view of the long NBA season. In any event, Mark Cuban, the owner of the Mavericks, says: “I’m afraid of the moment when Dirk no longer plays for us. Believe me, nobody here really wants to experience that.”