Dallas legend Dirk Nowitzki stated how he was prepared to live without a title, but wanted to spend his whole career with the Mavericks.
When he entered the league as a 20-year-old foreign boy, the city of Dallas welcomed Dirk with open arms. Obviously, he became close to the city and everyone related to the organization over the course of his long illustrious career.
In a recent interview, the 42-year-old was asked what it meant for him to spend his entire career with one franchise. Dirk stated how he was prepared to live without a championship, but never wanted to part ways with the city.
He also mentioned how he looked up to and was inspired by Charles Barkley despite him never winning a championship. Nowitzki explained:
“For me, I was prepared to live with the fact that I wasn’t going to win a title. One of my big idols is Charles Barkley. I loved him — that’s why actually in Europe I had No. 14 because he wore No. 14 in the Olympics in Barcelona. And I never have looked at him lesser because he didn’t win a championship. He just happened to run into Michael Jordan all the time.”
“Of course that’s always in the back of your mind, you’re thinking, “Man, what if? What if I would have done that?” But I’m just glad it worked out in Dallas. I really am. And I didn’t have to think about ever leaving this place.”
“I even turned down Kobe Bryant because Dallas was my city and my home”: Dirk Nowitzki
He revealed a tale during his 2010 free agency, and how the legend Kobe Bryant tried to approach him to join forces at the Lakers. Dirk Nowitzki talked about his only real free agent conversation as well:
“The first time I really was a free agent I think was in 2010, right before we won the championship. I remember I was in town and I went over to Mark [Cuban’s] house.”
“It was just me and Mark sitting there and I’m like, “What are we doing?” He’s like, “We’re going to keep plugging.” We were so close a couple years and so we were both kind of getting emotional about the stuff we’ve been through and it was just such a great conversation.”
“And I said, “Listen, we’ll try four more years,” and then it was obviously super lucky that the first year out of that four-year deal I signed, we ended up winning the championship and obviously made it all worth it. But that was really the first discussion of a contract that I ever had.”
“I never really got many pitches because everybody knew I kind of loved Dallas and I wanted this to work. I remember Kobe Bryant one year reached out to me, it was obviously an honor.”
“Think this was after I won the championship and my four-year deal was done. Kobe was still doing his thing in L.A. We talked, we texted back and forth, but I told him, “Listen, I’m sorry and you know how it is. Dallas is my city and my home and it would feel super weird to put a different uniform on.” And I think he totally understood that; I think he respected me more after that.”