NBA champion Dirk Nowitzki spent some time answering questions from readers from the German mass daily Bild. heinnews took the time to translate the questions and answers for those not fluent in German. The Dallas Mavericks goes through a number of topics, ranging from having children, going to church, blonds, commercial trickery, playing with Kobe Bryant or Shaquille O’Neal, Khloe Kardashian and his fadeaway jumper.
Here a link to the Bild questions.
Mr. Nowitzki, which big dream do you still have to fulfill?
Thorsten Schlesselmann, Rellingen (Schleswig-Holstein)
Nowitzki: Sportswise everything has been there. Off the court, I would like to have a family and children. Three or four would be good. I can deal with children really well – that is a dream which I would like to fulfill some time. But at the moment it’s not there.
Do you go to church?
Jens Jacobsen, Karben
Nowitzki: I am Protestant and have also been confirmed. Earlier we went to the church every now and again, especially with my grandma on holidays. I don’t go as often here.
Will you still play for Germany at big tournaments?
Matthias Abt, Ebersbach
Nowitzki: Nothing is planned at the moment. Whether that makes sense in a few years we will decide then.
You were once again connected to Alba Berlin. How big is the chance that you will finish your career in the capital?
Tim-Christopher Zeelen, Berlin
Nowitzki: After the lockout ended and I still have three years on my contract, that doesn’t look that good. But if it’s still fun when I’m 36 or 37 and I am a step too slow for the NBA or the games are too much, then it could be an issue.
Are there plans for the time after your active career?
Ralf Keuthen, Dortmund
Nowitzki: I would like to stay in basketball. In what function is still open. Coaching a team is too much tactics for me. That’s not my thing.
Did you really make three coffee beans into the glass of water like in your commercial?
Andy Hüper, Chemnitz
Nowitzki: I think one. It was really far away. They did a bit of trickery.
How often did you have the possibility to move to a supposedly better team (Lakers, Celtics or even Miami)?
Christian Neuenfeldt, Usingen
Nowitzki: I extended my contract my contract in Dallas before I ever hit the market. Until last summer when I was on the free market for the first time. But my heart was just in Dallas. It wouldn’t have felt right to go somewhere else after 12 years. A different uniform – it just wouldn’t have fit.
How much pressure to Americans put on you when you don’t play your best in two or three games?
Daniel Ziehn, Greifswald
Nowitzki: We just experienced it in the last couple weeks when it didn’t go so well. You hear some displeasure. There is a bit opposition in the media. I have been around long enough. That just is part of it all. It can’t always go good. You cannot take it personnally.
Do you have a ritual before a game?
Alexander Dobberstein, Köln
Nowitzki: I am not so superstitious but I always want to keep my rhythm before the game. I always sleep, eat noodles three or four before a game to get some carbohydrates. I want to go through the same procedure in the arena – warm up, stretch, get taped. But it’s not the end of the world when it doesn’t go that way once in a while.
How much impact did you have in how the Mavs’ roster was put together in the off-season?
Markus Mende, Nürnberg
Nowitzki: Before last season I sat down a while with Mark (Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner) and we thought about which small steps we need to take to bring a title to Dallas. Neither of us believed it would work right away. Before this season I didn’t have any contact because of the lockout. The decisions were made by Mark. We the players would have liked to have kept the players who left to try to defend the title. But they were business decisions which you can defend.
What kind of feeling do you have hitting a game-winning three-pointer in front of 20,000 fans?
Tobias Quacken, Mönchengladbach
Nowitzki: It still tingles in me. It’s a great feeling. It’s almost better in road games, when the arena goes silent. Of course it’s great at home with the fans standing and screaming and clapping. Those are the moments why we all play. You can’t get that kind of tingle in normal life.
With which NBA star would you like to play in a team?
Oliver Lisken, San Jose
Nowitzki: I was always a big fan of Kobe Bryant. For me, he is the best player of the last few years. But that won’t happen anymore. I also would have liked to have played with Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) in his best times.
How good do you see your chances of defending the title?
Daniel Putta, Herne
Nowitzki: We are in a good situation. We are where we wanted to be. Now we have to improve until the playoffs so that we are in our best form. Then we can play a big role.
Your teammate Lamar Odom is on a reality TV show through his wife Khloe Kardashian. Would that be something for you?
Daniel Schilling, Frankfurt
Nowitzki: The cameras were in the locker room already a couple of times but I stay off in the background. Lamar is a demanded man. The show is well-received throughout the country. We can see that at road games. When he comes into the game he gets more applause than the others. I haven’t seen the series at all. I don’t watch much reality TV anyhow. If I watch TV it’s either sports like the Australian Open, football (soccer), basketball and (American) football or I watch a film.
Do you follow the German basketball Bundesliga? Do you have a favorite club?
Tobias Warnecke, Hamburg
Nowitzki: When I was in Germany before the NBA season I watched a couple of games on television. Bamberg in the Euroleague, Alba against Bamberg. In the U.S., it’s difficult to follow the games. Here I mainly check out the results in the internet. I cross my fingers for Würzburg.
Which German player do you think has the best chance to make the jump to the NBA?
Andreas Breitenberger, Arnbach
Nowitzki: With his size and mobility, Tibor Pleiß has very good chances. He has a good shot but still has a lot of work. Now, every year is important for his development.
Even though you as a German won the NBA title, no German station shows the NBA. Why is that?
Andreas Eckert, Achern
Nowitzki: The NBA sells the rights and expects a certain price. And the stations in Germany do not think it would be profitable.
How did your fadeaway jumpshot develop? Did Holger Geschwindner come up with it? Or did you? Or was it just a product of chance?
Nowitzki: It was more of a product of chance. We don’t do many fadeaways in practice, more straight up shots. It developed over the years that I fall back to get a bit more distance from the defender.
What is the difference between the American and German fan culture?
Christopher Kunick, Norden
Nowitzki: Here in the United States, the fans want to be entertained. The show around the game is part of it. Sometimes the fans come late and leave early. In Germany, you come to the game because you want to see the game.
In your selection of women, you seem to go for the “darker” types. Is that the case or would a blond be an option?
Nowitzki: The chemistry has to work. Skin and hair color don’t really play a big role. The woman must be attractive, presentable and a bit funny. But appearance is not the deciding point. Early on in my time in the U.S. I had a girlfriend who was a blond.
What do you miss about your German home and what about the United States would you miss if you ever returned?
Christopher Heilig, Rüthen
Nowitzki: At home I miss my family. Otherwise I have everything here. They are too far away to see how my sister’s children grow up. Here I would miss the friends and the whole atmosphere around the Mavs. After the career, you miss the camaraderie, the chemistry in the locker room, the daily dealings with the team, the constant competition. That’s what those who retire say.
Did people always ask you “How’s the weather up there?”
Peter Pagojus, Altendiez
Nowitzki: Of couse. Especially in the school. I was as tall as the teacher already in fourth grade. Kids always asked me that.
You get around a lot in the world. Do the hotels always have the right size bed for you?
Horst Wodarsch, Berlin
Nowitzki: When we travel in the NBA then we stay in the top hotels – mostly five star hotels. That is not a problem. But in trips with the national team, I have experienced some tough ones. At the European Championship in Serbia, I stayed in a broom closet in Vrsac. The room was really unbelievably small. In Ukraine, we even stayed at youth hostels.
With whom from the Mavs do you spend the most time privately?
Dominik Henter, Trier
Nowitzki: I don’t have a friend like back then with Steve Nash. There aren’t many friendships like that in the NBA. But I get on very good with Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Brian Cardinal. He is one of my favorite teammates. He is super funny, always has a joke ready.
How does your family follow the NBA from so far away, especially the Mavs games?
Nowitzki: They have the NBA League Pass and connect the computer to the television. You can watch games pretty good like that. But they don’t watch every game. They only wake up for important ones.
What can you do evenings in Dallas – other than steaks and watch the Mavs?
Mirko Kreiß, Köln
Nowitzki: There’s always something going on nights. You can really eat well, not only steaks. We have good clubs and the U.S. conductor of the year in the philharmonic orchestra. There is also the NHL with the Dallas Stars and you have to have seen the Cowboys football stadium. When I speak to other players, Dallas is among the top third of cities. And the weather is never too bad either.
How have you been able to remain so humble despite all your success?
Florian Viehmann, Giessen
Nowitzki: I just never saw myself as a star. The hype always was more but I always tried to just have fun with it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a photo shoot or a three-day commercial shoot. I always try to have some fun and go through life like that. It has worked like that so far and it’s never been boring.
Could you ever imagine being an actor in a film or a comedy series?
Rudi Breiteneicher, Burghausen
Nowitzki: Acting is not really my thing. We often make some short films for the video monitor in the arena. Doing scenes 10, 11 times after another bugs me. I did act once in the film “Like Mike”. It was only one scene and lasted only five seconds. But we had to film it 20 times. I think that would be boring really fast.
What do your teammates think it’s like in Germany?
Nowitzki: Nobody has asked me that in a long time. With the internet, almost everyone knows where Germany is and what it’s like there. Some were there already. Vince Carter told me once that he toured through Germany with his high school team.