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Dirk Nowitzki On What Helped Motivate Him In His Career: “I Would Think, ‘Kobe Isn’t Sleeping In…’”

Dirk Nowitzki

In Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki was king for years before retiring in 2019. Over his 21-year career, he made 14 All-Star appearances, 12 All-NBA appearances, and brought home a title in 2011.

But what kept him going all those years?

While his natural drive to win was no doubt a huge factor, Dirk also looked to his peers as an example for his own preparation and work ethic.

“I would think, ‘Kobe isn’t sleeping in and Tim Duncan isn’t sleeping in…’”

Dirk Nowitzki on things that helped motivate him in his career

During his playing days, Dirk made a name for himself as the pinnacle of international excellence. The German-born 7-footer helped inspire an entire generation of international ballers. Today, many of the game's top stars are not American-born, a fact that is not lost on the 43-year-old.

“It makes me proud in a way, as an old father, to see some of these young kids take over the league as franchise players. Super fun to see, and there were players that paved the way for me. Drazen, Schrempf, Kukoc.”

While Dirk was only able to capture a single Championship, people are still captivated by what he was able to do in the NBA during an era that included Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. In fact, Dirk's influence was so strong that Franz Wagner once likened him to Michael Jordan.

“Dirk is like Michael Jordan for German kids. He made it seem possible to make it to the NBA. Not just make it, but also be a hall of fame type player. So, to see him win the championship, I still remember where I was at the time and stuff like that. It was a huge deal to everybody, and I think he made basketball in Germany a lot more important and relevant," Wagner said in an interview with Fanatics View.

Dirk is long removed from his days as an NBA sharpshooter, but he continues to serve the Mavs today as a special advisor to the team.

Under his guidance, there is hope that Dallas will see success for years to come. If not, Dirk will be there to motivate his guys, just like Kobe and Duncan motivated him.