By Dionysis Aravantinos / firstname.lastname@example.org
They played countless of times as opponents, but the respect between these two future ‘Hall of Famers’ has always been there.
Talking to Gianina Thompson of ESPN, Kobe Bryant not only discussed his new show on ESPN, ‘Detail’ that premieres on Thursday, April 12, but also how Dirk Nowitzki changed and impacted the game of basketball.
Nowadays, frontcourt players stretch the floor and shoot a lot of three-pointers. According to the former Laker, Dirk was one of the first ones do it, and to him, this was revolutionary: “When he first came in the league, he took a lot of threes. The year they won championships he might have taken half the threes than when he first came in the league. The idea of having a guy that was 7′, 7’1″ that could stretch the floor, that was revolutionary. I’m sure it inspired a lot of bigs to be able to say, You know what, I want to be like Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk, he was looking at guys like Arvydas Sabonis, Vlade Divac, guys like that.”
But according to the ‘Black Mamba,’ Dirk Nowitzki did not only shoot three-pointers: “Dirk obviously took it to a different level because of his mobility, the ability to put the ball on the floor and spin.”
Finally, the five-time NBA champion also talked about Nowitzki’s championship run: “When Dirk won that championship that year, the biggest problem we had with him, that Miami and all the other teams had with him, wasn’t his picking and popping, it was his ability to play at the free-throw line and below the free-throw line. For him, that was his biggest growth as a player.”
Dirk Nowitzki will go down as one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball and on his 2oth year with the Dallas Mavericks, he finished the season with 12.0 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
Finally, as he stated he will come back for another year next season, marking his 21st in the NBA.
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