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Dirk Nowitzki Used To Tell Opponents How To Guard Him: “It Was Almost Psychological. It’s Almost Like Larry Bird.”

Dirk Nowitzki Used To Tell Opponents How To Guard Him: “It Was Almost psychological. It’s Almost Like Larry Bird.”

Dirk Nowitzki is one of the most beloved players in NBA history thanks to his loyalty to the Dallas Mavericks and everything he did for the organization, including delivering their first and only NBA championship in 2011.

The German giant made history with his team and left a huge mark on the game, as he's often considered the greatest European player of all time. Cool as he was, Nowitzki was incredibly competitive and didn't hesitate to taunt his rivals whenever he stepped foot on the court. 

His teammates knew that and were in awe of his talents to trash talk and back those comments with his displays. Recently, Jason Terry, who won the 2011 championship alongside Dirk, talked about how the big man got under his opponents' skins, trying to get them off the game and succeeding at it. 

Terry went on to compare Nowitzki to one of the greatest trash talkers of all time, Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird.

Via Tom Cato of The Athletic:

Later in his career, Nowitzki began telling opponents how to guard him. “He would tell you, ‘You should’ve taken this angle. You would’ve prevented me from getting to the ball,’” says Thaddeus Young, recalling one such lesson. In other instances, Nowitzki would tell his defenders, “Stay down,” right before a fake shot.

“It was almost psychological,” Terry says. “It’s almost like Larry Bird. He’s telling you what he’s going to do before he does it, and then he still does it.”

Dirk had some issues with other famous trash talkers, but that didn't mean he wasn't one of them. The Mavericks legend was one of a kind and he was well aware of that. Whenever he played, the German was ready to destroy rivals both on the scoreboard and the mental game. 

He was really good at it as he made a big impression on both teammates and rivals. Dirk is a legend of the game and these stories are great to know that he wasn't a silent killer. He could talk trash to people and get away with that.