Some people say you should never meet your idols but sometimes, if you're lucky enough, that's just inevitable. That is what happened to a young Dirk Nowitzki when he entered the NBA, a completely different world where all the players he grew up admiring were playing. Dirk was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1998 NBA draft and immediately traded to the Dallas Mavericks, where he'd spend his entire career.
Dirk had the chance to meet his biggest idol, Scottie Pippen, during his first year in the league, playing against him in his third game of the season. Scottie didn't make the best impression of Nowitzki, who was disappointed in the player. During an interview in 2002, Dirk explained what it was to make it to the league and see face those players, but also making it clear that he wasn't there to lose.
"I was a huge Chicago Bulls fan of course, with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. And that was my idol, really, Scottie Pippen. I think my 3rd NBA game was against Scottie Pippen. That was a hammered feeling. You're standing on the court playing against them, I couldn't believe it at first but in the meantime, it's my 5th year. You have to put that feeling of awe aside. That was difficult my first year; all the posters I had all over my bedroom and suddenly I was playing against them, that was crazy. And I was totally disappointed because Scottie Pippen was my idol... That's an arrogant ass beyond belief."
Well, Dirk is now known as one of the coolest and most beloved players the NBA has seen. He must have learned how not to be watching people acting the way he could have acted when they met. Nowitzki had a terrific 21-year NBA career, winning one of the most impressive championships in recent times with his Mavs, demonstrating to everybody that he could carry his team to the promised land.
We're not sure if he fixed things with Pippen but at that time, he didn't seem too worried about that.