The Dallas Mavericks franchise is one of the most fortunate in the NBA. The Mavericks were serious playoff contenders in most of Dirk Nowitzki's 21-year stint in Dallas, and they even broke through in 2011 on the back of Nowitzki's otherworldly postseason performance. On the tail-end of his career, however, the Mavericks struggled. During Nowitzki's penultimate season in 2017-18, they finished with a 23-59 record, but they were rewarded in the 2018 NBA Draft with Luka Doncic, the NBA's best young superstar.
It's quite sad though that Dirk Nowitzki and Luka Doncic only teamed up for one season before the then-40-year old Nowitzki decided to call it quits. The two would have played such beautiful basketball together had their primes intertwined. But Mavericks fans need not worry, as Doncic and Nowitzki will soon reunite on the court – on the tennis court, more specifically.
Dirk Nowitzki is set to host his fifth Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic on Sunday at the SMU Tennis Complex. Some of the most famous celebrity guests include Luka Doncic, another of Nowitzki's former teammates in Steve Nash, one-time Grand Slam champion Andy Roddick, and actor Ben Stiller.
The 5th annual @swish41 Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic is Sunday.
Feat. @luka7doncic, @andyroddick, @MardyFish, @JohnIsner, @knowlzee10s, @BenStiller, @BorisKodjoe, @SteveNash, @jjbareapr; proceeds benefit The Dirk Nowitzki Foundation.
See y’all there. https://t.co/rCxkH3ZBbt pic.twitter.com/sfDZqRzgPf
— Landon Thomas (@sixfivelando) September 23, 2022
Dirk Nowitzki and Luka Doncic have grown close together despite being teammates for only a short period of time. Doncic also made an appearance during the 2019 edition of Nowitzki's much-awaited charity event, so Nowitzki has a read on how Doncic would perform this time around. And of course, Dirk has jokes.
“We love having [Luka]. Of course, he's the star here. People love him. [But] I wouldn't say he's the best tennis player,” Nowitzki said, per WFAA. “He's a big tennis fan. His skills are just OK. I always tell him, ‘You should just stick to basketball,' but we're so happy and grateful that he comes and supports. He was just in the EuroBasket in Europe. And for him to come in and support that weekend for us means a lot. We definitely appreciate him playing.”
Of course, it helps as well that Luka Doncic is exposing his “OK” tennis skills for a great cause. All proceeds garnered by the event will be given to the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, an organization focused on helping out in the fields of children's wellbeing, health, and education. It's amazing that Dirk is being consistent with his initiatives, and it helps pave the way for Doncic to continue these kinds of efforts when the time comes.