Mavs icon Dirk Nowitzki dishes on Kobe Bryant pitching him to join Lakers
Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki has been the epitome of loyalty in basketball. He played all 21 of his NBA seasons with the Mavs and was so faithful to the franchise that it seemed futile to try to even lure him to another team. Rumors about him leaving never really gained enough momentum to be classified as smoke.
“I remember Kobe Bryant one year reached out to me, it was obviously an honor. I 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,’ Nowitzki said. ‘Dallas is my city and my home and it would feel super weird to put a different uniform on.'”
It would feel like a scene straight out of the Twilight Zone to see Nowitzki wearing a jersey other than one for the Mavericks, especially if it was for the Purple & Gold. As Kobe is also known for loyalty to his team, it was definitely easy for him to understand.
This talk occurred supposedly after Dirk’s four-year contract had ended and he had led the Mavs to a magical postseason that culminated in their first and only championship. Winning that ring made all of Nowitzki’s and the team’s struggles worth it.
Both players were well past their primes, but there is no doubt that a team with both Nowitzki and Bryant would have been must-watch basketball.
Dirk Nowitzki’s game was never dependent on athleticism, but more on his refined technique and perfect shooting touch. On the other hand, Kobe adjusted his playstyle from a slasher to a mid-range assassin. This duo that never was remains as one of the NBA’s interesting what-ifs.