Mavs Dirk Nowitzki (And 'Mr. Jones And Me')
Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki knows when to be goofy and when to be serious. Right?
Every NBA player has his own ritual before shooting every free throw. Kevin Durant shakes his shoulder, Jason Kidd blew a kiss to the rim, Nick Van Exel even stood closer to the three-point line than the actual free-throw line. Each one is designed by the player to calm his nerves and clear his mind before each shot. Of all the bizarre routines in the NBA, a certain ‘Big German’ may have the most interesting one yet.
Since the early parts of Dirk’s rookie season, he has been a way above average free-throw shooter, shooting 87.9 percent for his career. But what most people don’t know is that Dirk sings a certain 90’s tune at the charity stripe before each shot – "Mr. Jones'' by the Counting Crows.
Thought to be too tense during his free throws in the clutch by one of his coaches, Dirk was advised to sing a song to calm his nerves and it worked wonders, as Dirk has only shot below 88 percent from the line once since the 2005-2006 season (2012-2013).
“I don’t know why that song, but I loved that song, I still love that song, and that song always came to my mind,” Dirk said of the 90’s gem.
A sample of Dirk’s singular voice talent from that same interview can be heard here.
While we will never know the inner workings of Holger Geschwinder’s mad scientist basketball brain, or of Dirk’s mindset from mid-range with less than a minute to go, one thing is certain – Mr. Jones and Dirk are a recipe for success.
And, as is always the case with Dirk, even as he works for the German National Team, above ... some goofiness always gets mixed into the recipe.