The Dallas Mavericks won a championship in 2011 with Dirk Nowitzki over the ‘Big 3′ from Miami: Chris Bosh, Dewayne Wade, and LeBron James. Nowitzki's stunning Finals MVP Performance was one of the greatest in NBA history and it's being remembered by fans who have a chance to watch Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic on this year's squad.

Nowitzki was an 18-year-old kid when Charles Barkley saw him drop 30 points on the U.S. national team, a feat that caused Barkley to spring into recruitment mode for his beloved Auburn Tigers basketball program. The story of what Barkley told him and how Nowitzki responded is hilarious, and it was retold recently in dramatic fashion.

The video of the two legends' story was posted on Saturday prior to a Nuggets vs. Timberwolves showdown that coincided with an important Mavs injury update. An insane Kyrie Irving closeout stat was revealed that will please Dallas fans.

Nowitzki never played college basketball in the United States, but according to his conversation with Barkley, it was a key wish in his unofficial recruitment process.

Barkley, Nowitzki Discuss Unofficial Recruitment 

According to Barkley, Nowitzki told him he could not head to the United States to play for Barkley's beloved Auburn Tigers because of one key reason: the army. Nowitzki, then a teenager, had no choice according to the way he described it in the video below. His good natured smile showed that he wasn't mad at Barkley for trying, but clearly the Tigers were not the university or basketball playing destination for him at that stage of his career.

The Auburn basketball team moved on without Nowitzki and continued its pursuit of SEC glory while Nowitzki eventually settled in with the Mavericks after being acquired for Robert “Tractor” Traylor.

Mavs Start Second Round Series Tuesday 

The Mavericks were expected to start their second round NBA Playoffs series against the top seed in the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder, on Sunday. The Mavericks' Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving both unleashed Herculean performances against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday to eliminate James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George's team by a final tally of four games to two.

Dirk on the sidelines of a Mavs game.
Mar 13, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Former NBA player Dirk Nowitzki walks off the court after the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder are slight favorites to win the series vs. their more experienced counterparts from Big D, according to the most recent odds in Draft Kings sportsbook.