For Dallas Mavericks icon Dirk Nowitzki, the key to success for young NBA players today is to ‘never think you've made it.'

In an interview with Alex Squadron of Slam Online, the 41-year-old Mavs icon shared what his mindset was throughout his illustrious 21-year career in the NBA. From day one up until he hung up his jersey and sneakers for good, Nowitzki saw himself as a student of the game.

“Well, I always try to see myself as a student of the game. It sounds silly, but never think that you’ve made it,” Nowitzki explained when asked what advice he could give to the young NBA players today.

“Somebody else is working out in the gym. Always try to get better. Listen and learn. Watch your veterans. And just always, every summer, try to add something new to your game and never stay the same player. That’s how I always looked at it. I never wanted to be satisfied. I always wanted to be the best player I could be. It’s really all about hard work and putting the time in. To be consistently good for a long, long time takes a lot of work.”

On Nowitzki's resume is an MVP award, a championship title, 14 All-Star Selections, several All-NBA Team selections and many others. More than the aforementioned tangibles, the Mavs legend left an undying influence on the game of basketball.

Nowitzki is the first real stretch-four: a 7-footer with one of the purest strokes that the game has ever seen. Now, there are tons of centers and power forwards who have the same playing style as him. And every single one of them will say outright that they patterned and modeled their game after the German Wunderkind.