Dirk Nowitzki is the greatest Dallas Maverick ever. The team is his, and he will be associated with the franchise as much as any player from here on out.
The relationship between Nowitzki and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is one of mutual respect, if not outright friendship. The two have worked together to create a tenable situation for each of them, which has allowed Dallas to go after free agents in multiple seasons while Nowitzki has waited to sign a contract (often for less money than he would have been worth.)
So it’s reasonable to think that these two guys like each other and they banter back-and-forth.
Meanwhile, author Ian Thomsen’s book “The Soul of Basketball: The Epic Showdown Between LeBron, Kobe, Doc, and Dirk That Saved the NBA” has several stories about Nowitzki, including one in which he went after Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
During an appearance on Zach Lowe’s podcast, Thomsen and Lowe recanted one anecdote from the 2010-11 season between the billionaire and the German superstar.
Here’s Lowe talking about the incident, via ESPN. Just a warning, it’s NSFW:
There’s a lot about Cuban in the book and how the players learn to tune out when he’s yelling at them during the games. And another moment from that season … they screw up a possession … Dirk inbounds the ball and Cuban’s yelling at Dirk because because he had just made a mistake or something happened.
And apparently everyone on the team remembers this: Dirk passed the ball back into play with one hand and as he pulled out his mouth guard with the other hand he shouted, “Shut the fuck up!” at Cuban.
No doubt the ability to have that kind of firepower, to hand it right back at Cuban is the dream of several rival fanbases around the NBA.
You’ve got to love Dirk.