Everything is bigger in Texas, including the welcoming personality of 7-foot-tall Dallas Mavericks legend, Dirk Nowitzki. We spent two days with the form er NBA MVP in the city he set down roots in throughout his entire 21-year NBA career. Dirk reflects on the quirky German who primed him for the League, regrets after a rough rookie season and the arrest of a fraudulent former fiancée. Plus, we get a taste of his musical talents and drop by the fifth-annual Dirk Nowitzki Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic, where we hear from Steve Nash and Ben Stiller, among others.
Dirk Nowitzki: Disguised bride and sacrificed goat at my wedding
14-time NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki opens up about life as a father of three and husband to Jessica Olsson. He talks of incomparable pride for his children, plus his and his wife’s attempts to teach their children three languages: German, Swedish and English. Plus, Dirk looks back on a Valentine’s Day proposal and celebrating their marriage with parties in the Caribbean, Dallas and Kenya.
Dirk Nowitzki: The truth about my 2019 farewell tour
Dirk Nowitzki – the only player ever to play for a single NBA franchise for 21 seasons – says he didn’t want a farewell tour during the 2018-19 season. The former Dallas Mavericks superstar reflects on the pros and cons of his last couple years in the NBA and shares the adrenaline-inducing aspect of the game he misses most. Plus, Dirk talks of his life today and remembers the difficulties of taking an online business course through Harvard University.
Dirk Nowitzki: Dad wanted me to take over family painting business
Future Basketball Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki shares stories of his athletic parents’ impact on his upbringing, including when his dad Jorg Werner encouraged Dirk to pursue a career in the family business and why Dirk spent nearly every weekend playing basketball, handball or tennis.
Dirk Nowitzki: I owe this quirky German everything
Dirk Nowitzki is surprised when asked to dip way back into childhood stories, including a propensity for chewing gum and an initial distaste for the sport that made him famous on a global level. Plus, Dirk talks fondly of his long-time mentor Holger Geschwindner, including how Holger would broaden his horizons with introductions to novels, the saxophone and fencing.
Dirk Nowitzki: Parents considered stunting my growth
Dirk Nowitzki remembers the embarrassment of his extraordinary growth as a child in Germany, with his parents even considering hormonal treatment to stunt Dirk’s growth. The 14-time NBA All-Star reflects on his “Skeletor” nickname and says he would try to avoid situations where he should take his shirt off – like at the neighborhood pool – out of fear of teasing by his peers. Plus, Dirk says he notices whispers and pointing still today when he ducks his head to step into doorways and yet he tends to keep any inklings of embarrassment to himself.
Dirk Nowitzki: NBA’s minimum age is bad for the game
NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki – who received 30 college scholarship offers – reflects on the pros and cons of avoiding college and heading straight into the NBA. Plus, the 14-time All-Star makes the case for lowering the NBA’s minimum age to 18, to once again allow for prospects to enter the NBA Draft out of high school. He brings up numerous negative effects of the current system and says it’s a bad look for the game.
Dirk Nowitzki: Steve Nash kept me in America
Dirk Nowitzki – the only player ever to play for a single NBA franchise for 21 seasons – talks of his first impressions when coming to America and offers anecdotes to illustrate the difficulties of his rookie season. Dirk attributes much of his early woes to homesickness and praises his former teammate Steve Nash and his long-time mentor Holgor Geschwindner for lifting him up when he needed it. Later, we hear from Dallas Mavericks senior accountant Lisa Tyner, who says she thought he might be leaving for good after one year in the NBA. Plus, Dirk jokes of his difficulties to assimilate, including a mostly empty apartment, failing to find the air conditioning in his compact rental car and his inexperience with all things banking related.
Dirk Nowitzki: Flipping my diet upside down
Dirk Nowitzki explains why he waited nearly eight years into his NBA career before caring about the foods that fueled his performances. The 7-foot-tall future Hall of Famer remembers cutting out red meat and booze while in season and shares the exercise he focuses on today to keep his heart strong.
Dirk Nowitzki: I didn’t want to accept the NBA MVP Award
Dirk remembers the pain of the Mavs’ surprising loss to Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals, then the Mavs’ first round upset loss to the Warriors in 2007 and the firehose of emotions as his team finally won it all in 2011. Dirk explains why he left the floor early with just seconds left in the championship-clinching Game 6 – beating LeBron James and the Miami Heat – and why it took a minute before he could be convinced to return to the court and accept his NBA Finals MVP trophy.
Dirk Nowitzki: My fiancée was a phony
14-time NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki looks back on a challenging time in his life: hiring a private investigator in 2009 to learn that his then-fiancée Cristal Taylor had a sketchy past, leading to her arrest for fraud. Dirk says he was shocked and embarrassed by the incident, especially as his notoriously private personal life suddenly turned public. He recalls playing especially well in a playoff series against the Denver Nuggets as news of his fiancée’s shady past and multiple aliases began capturing media headlines, and later he shares part of the process that helped him to get over it.
Dirk Nowitzki recalls a couple unexpected encounters with David Hasselhoff and admits that he never came clean to The Hoff on a white lie that spawned from a one-off radio interview. Plus, the 14-time NBA All-Star says he’s a huge fan of Shaq and actually busts out Shaq’s lyrics from the 1993 Fu-Schnickens track “What’s Up Doc (Can We Rock?).” We also get a taste of Dirk’s favorite songs to play on the guitar, which include Extreme’s “More Than Words” and Ben Harper’s “Walk Away.”
Dirk Nowitzki: Partying with my boss, Mark Cuban
Dirk Nowitzki – the only player ever to play for a single NBA franchise for 21 seasons – talks of his relationship and friendship with his former boss, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Dirk remembers when Cuban purchased the team in 2000 and quickly showed the team and fan base that he was all-in as its new owner. Dirk remembers partying with his boss on several occasions, plus a heartfelt, one-on-one negotiation at Cuban’s home in 2010.
Dirk Nowitzki: When Kobe asked me to join the Lakers
2011 NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki jokes about struggles fitting in his cars, the one-legged fadeaway statue that will be unveiled on Nowitzki Way in Dallas on Dec. 25 and his encounters with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Dirk recalls getting personally recruited by Kobe to join him on the Lakers, and earning his respect by staying loyal to the Mavs.
Dirk Nowitzki: When Roger Federer flagged me down
We’re with Dirk Nowitzki at the site of the fifth-annual Dirk Nowitzki Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic. He remembers meeting a young Roger Federer at Wimbledon and feeling in awe of Federer’s maturity. Later, Dirk expectedly takes down Graham during a game of tennis.
Michael Jordan or LeBron? Rapid fire with Dirk Nowitzki
NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki answers a series of rapid-fire questions, including his picks when forced to choose between rappers Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G, plus MJ vs. LeBron and shooting a one-legged fadeaway or a deep three-pointer.
Dirk Nowitzki recruits Ben Stiller, Luka Doncic, Steve Nash for charity
We’re with Dirk Nowitzki at the fifth-annual Dirk Nowitzki Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic in Dallas. We hear from athletes and celebrities including Ben Stiller, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash. Nash – who eventually won the doubles tournament alongside his partner Spencer Papa – talks of taking the tennis tournament seriously and Dirk jokes that Luka Doncic needs more work to hone his tennis skills.
Behind the scenes with Dirk Nowitzki: I’d never told this story
A behind-the-scenes look at our two days with NBA legend and Dallas sports icon, Dirk Nowitkzi, including his reflection on Graham’s long-form, profile interview and sitting courtside for Dirk’s fifth annual charity tennis tournament. Plus, Graham remembers first planting the seed with Dirk’s sister 12 years ago while producer Brad tells us all about his indigestion.