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Stephen Curry gets Dirk Nowitzki all fired up

Warriors, Stephen Curry, Dirk Nowitzki

It’s been over two years since Dirk Nowitzki played his last game for the Dallas Mavericks to wrap up a storied 21-year NBA career. Since then, Nowitzki has enjoyed retirement, although he did not stay away from the game as much as he may have thought and has continued following the league and specifically one Golden State Warriors player.

In an interview with ESPN’s Nick Freidell, Nowitzki along with other greats in Reggie Miller and Jerry West, revealed that he has been watching Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, noting that Curry has become one of his favorite players to watch.

Nowitzki, West, and Miller talked about the influence of Curry, who is just 18 points behind Wilt Chamberlain in the Warriors’ all-time scoring list. The 2011 NBA champion and Finals MVP said that Curry, a three-time champion, changed the game because of the way his range made him a threat from anywhere in the half-court. The longtime Maverick said that Curry was the first player he saw shooting deep three-pointers that have since become more common in the league.

Nowitzki admitted that seeing the Warriors guard pull up near the logo with a lot of time still on the shot clock was something that raised eyebrows at the time, but the two-time MVP’s consistency with this type of shot has given rise to its popularity. Once a rival on the court in the Western Conference, the 2007 MVP admits that he now roots for the Warriors guard whenever he watches him play.

“I’ve told these stories, when I was watching him in those playoff runs and the building there was rocking, he’d come across half court and I’m yelling at the TV, ‘Shoot the ball! Like, what are you waiting on?’ I’m fired up. He’s one of my favorite players to watch. He’s definitely changed the game from a shooting perspective.”

It’s rare that a legendary player speaks so highly of a player that is still in the prime of his career, but Nowitzki knows greatness when he sees it, and understands how Curry has changed the way the game is played.