Dirk Nowitzki turned in another NBA season this past year at the ripe old age of 37. From a basketball perspective, he’s definitely getting up there in years. Given how much he has accomplished, and how much he means to the Dallas Mavericks organization, he could be forgiven for perhaps conserving his energy at this stage. If Nowitzki didn’t want to go all out, nobody would blame him. However, according to Zaza Pachulia, Dirk is still out there busting his tail for the Mavs, even in practice.
The Mercury News was talking to Pachulia, who signed with the Golden State Warriors this offseason, to discuss how he ended up signing with the Warriors. Pachulia took less money than he could have had otherwise to sign with Golden State, although the reason for that is pretty obvious. The Warriors won 73 games last year and signed Kevin Durant this offseason. It does not take great intellect to deduce the reason Pachulia would take a little less cash to sign on with Golden State.
However, in getting to that point, they discuss Pachulia’s time in Dallas, where he evidently learned what a winning basketball culture is like for the first time. Nowitzki, in particular, is singled out. “Dirk, man, 37 and he still running sprints after practice,” Pachulia said.
This says everything about what Nowitzki has given to the Mavericks organization. Despite having nothing left to prove, and despite being closer to the end of his career than the beginning, Dirk was still willing to lead by example and to put the work in. That hard work alone won’t help the Mavericks win a title, but it’s just another reason to love Nowitzki.
(Via Mercury News)