Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban gushed about Dirk Nowitzki in a new interview with Rolling Stone.
He said the dumb luck of having Dirk was one of the main reasons he has been a successful owner, and praised the 36-year-old forward’s work ethic.
Cuban’s explanation of what has made Dirk so successful is useful. He says having a strong work ethic is nice, but being smart about what you’re working hard on is what made Dirk great.
Some wisdom from Cuban:
“Talent without effort is wasted talent. And while effort is the one thing you can control in your life, applying that effort intelligently is next on the list. What helped make Dirk special is not just how hard he worked, but how smart he worked. He didn’t just put in the hours, he had a plan for those hours and he knew just wanted he wanted to accomplish with them. That allowed him to not only become the great shooter that he is, but also to become a student of the game and to add something new to his game almost every year.”
Nowitzki has been on the Mavericks since Cuban bought the franchise for $US285 million in 2000. The two have one of the most unique player-owner relationships in the league. Cuban’s public feud with Rockets GM Daryl Morey reportedly began when Morey had the audacity to ask Cuban if he would trade Dirk. This summer, Dirk took a $US14-million pay cut so Cuban could add to his roster.
Dirk has spent his summers working with longtime coach Holger Geschwindner.
His workouts with Geschwindner are somewhat legendary for their quirkiness. Here’s how the Star-Ledger described one:
“Holger Geschwindner took off his pants without any concern for who was watching, then pulled on his sweats, and when he was done he and Dirk Nowitzki began their workout.
“Initially, it was a typical set of shooting drills. Overheads with each hand to warm up. Catch and shoot from mid-range. Right-to-left and left-to-right crossovers at each elbow. High-arc stuff from outer space.”
‘And then, it just got crazy,’ said Bob Salmi, whose pals rolled cameras and captured it from every angle. ‘It was a 50-minute workout, and one of the most bizarre things I ever saw in basketball.'”
Every summer he added something new to his game. He eventually mastered an unblockable one-footed step-back shot that other players like Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony are trying to emulate, with varying degrees of success.
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