Dirk Nowitzki’s loyalty and love for the Dallas Mavericks is unbeknownst to none, but Kobe Bryant still had to try to make him come to L.A.
Unarguably the best European player of all time in the NBA, Dirk Nowitzki, is also one of the most loyal players ever. Even after having one of the longest careers in the game, the Dallas Mavericks big man stayed true to a single team.
The Mavericks aren’t wasting any more time, they will be honoring the undisputed king of their franchise on Wednesday when they hang Dirk Nowitzki’s No. 41 jersey in the rafters of the American Airlines Center. The Germany-born superstar played for 21 years in Dallas.
Four other players had a career that long, but all of them played for multiple teams. It is almost impossible for one to shrug millions off in exchange for your talent. But Dirk knew how to say “No”. The 2007 MVP even respectfully declined Kobe Bryant’s request to join him in the Lakers.
Kobe Bryant tried recruiting Dirk Nowitzki to the Lakers.
Although it was towards the latter quarter of his career, at the end of the 2013-14 season, Dirk Nowitzki was still a highly coveted free agent. After an All-Star season, averaging 21.7 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game, Dirk got a call from Kobe Bryant in the off-season.
“I’m a lifer like you, man. We don’t leave.”
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 6, 2022
Apart from the Lakers, the 14-time All-Star also got an offer from the Houston Rockets, which was almost $70 million more than what the Mavericks were offering him.
In 2014, Dirk Nowitzki was offered $92 million deals by the Lakers and the Rockets.
He declined both offers and signed a 3-year, $25 million deal to stay in Dallas. pic.twitter.com/RyBtn6ya2z
— Basketball Forever (@Bballforeverfb) September 8, 2021
Although Kobe stayed true to the Purple and Gold, it was barely similar to Dirk’s situation. As the 5-time champ for the Lakers got enough compensation and was a great player at the time to contend with to stay in L.A. when he was once thinking of taking his talents elsewhere.
It’s hard to find a player as consistent and as loyal as Dirk Werner Nowitzki. Unthinkable in today’s NBA.