VIDEO: Mavs Icon Is 'Uncle Dirk' In Germany
Dallas Mavericks icon Dirk Nowitzki wasn't always "superstar Dirk,'' one of the handful of best players on the planet, and an MVP. Earlier in his career -- even when he was a budding star on a playoff team -- he was "Deferential Dirk.'' Much to the chagrin of observers like me, Dirk did not then view himself as a more reliable offensive weapon than then-teammates Steve Nash and Michael Finley. Who would take the last shot, the big shot?
It was way too fine with "Dirty'' if, due to his polite and unselfish nature if nothing else, to let "Nasty'' or "Filthy'' do it.
But then via an incredible work ethic to match with his unique talent, he morphed into a superstar. A 13-time All-Star. The seventh-leading scorer in NBA history. The top individual honor (an MVP) and the top team honor (an NBA title) that can be bestowed on a guy.
He's "Fun Uncle Dirk.''
Unless a guy is a complete jackass, it's a natural progression, and you see it in this German basketball team promotion meant to persuade you to fall in like with Deutschland's Eurobasket squad ... and it works.
The kids are playing basketball, of course. But they're also going swimming and goofing off and all but sitting around a campfire telling ghosts stories (though I don't know that German kids actually do that). And youngsters like Dennis Schroder are putting up with Dirk busting chops.
Could any teammate get away with this, or pull it off with the goofy grace of Nowitzki? Unlikely. Because "Deferential Dirk'' had a goofy grace. And "MVP Dirk'' had a goofy grace. And now, "Fun Uncle Dirk'' is absolutely made for goofy grace.
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