home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 12, 2011

Dirk Nowitzki


Dallas Mavericks 105
Miami Heat 95

Q. Dirk, you can be honest with us now, is this any sweeter because you got it done in Miami?
DIRK NOWITZKI: Oh, man, I don't know. I mean, obviously that was one of my most disappointing losses in my career, to lose the Final series after being up 2-0. It took so long just to get here. I don't really know if it would have made a difference. Just this feeling to be on the best team of the world is just undescribable.

Q. Jet is the one guy who has been with you the whole time since then. How do you feel about the way he lifted you guys especially when you were struggling in the first half?
DIRK NOWITZKI: Was he unbelievable tonight or what? Coming out right away in the first half and setting a tone. I think he watched me struggle there early, and he took it upon himself to really attack and look for his shot early and get going early.
Man, he kept coming all night long. He was phenomenal. That one timeout he said to me, "Keep pushing. Remember '06." He said that to me in the fourth quarter. We kept plugging. It wasn't pretty for me, but I had to keep plugging and keep fighting.

Q. Dirk, you know that the greatest players are defined by championships. Do you feel like that monkey is finally off your back?
DIRK NOWITZKI: I don't really think that way right now. If you're in this league for 13 years of just battling and playoffs last basically ten years, 11 years, and always coming up a little short. That's why this is extra special.
If I would have won one early in my career, maybe I would have never put all the work and the time in that I have over the last 13 years. So this feels amazing.
I'm happy for Kidd. What a warrior he is at 38, chasing the most athletic players in this league out there and doing a great job on him, and also leading our squad. He's been in this league forever and had two chances. Just an unbelievable team. I said it all season long. We had great chemistry with the guys. We had fun in the locker room, on the buses and stuff. So this is a special group. We're world champions. It sounds unbelievable.

Q. The soft and the clutch label were more so on the other side in this series. Normally it's attached to your team, and with the focus on you as a superstar, how does it feel hearing those words right now knowing it hasn't been brought up since the Thunder series?
DIRK NOWITZKI: Well, I just think we're a resilient bunch, and we saw it. This whole series we were down some. We kept battling back. Kept believing in each other. I just think this is a win of team basketball. This is a win for playing as a team on both ends of the floor, of sharing the ball, of passing the ball, and we've been doing that all season long. I'm happy. We never looked at ourselves as soft. Not for one minute. And we just kept fighting.

Q. Dirk, how important was bringing Rick in to get you guys to this point? And what things has he done to help you get here?
DIRK NOWITZKI: Well, I think he's an experienced coach, and he pushed all the right buttons, and it took us a while to find a good mix. I think I mentioned that yesterday, of still keeping our defensive principles that Avery installed and also giving Kidd a little more freedom on the offensive end, letting him run the show a little bit, letting him create and letting him call some plays on the fly and push the pace up a little bit.
So I think that he did a great job doing that, and during the course of the season, we had to adjust to some stuff. I thought in The Finals he did some phenomenal adjustments here to start J.J., and then decide to let Peja really sit for the series, bring Cardinal in, who has been phenomenal for us this series. Constant pro. Always stayed ready for us. It's an unbelievable team effort and the coaches and the whole organization. I give Mark a lot of credit. Cuban. He stuck with me through thick and thin. He brought all the right players always in, always trying to spend money and make this organization better and this team better.
So Mark is the best.

Q. Dirk, Charles Barkley always talks about that list that he's on, that Stockton, Malone and Patrick Ewing were all on. And you were on there with him. To be off that list, just tell me what that's like.
DIRK NOWITZKI: Man, this is what I obviously played for the last couple of years. I think when you come in in this league you want to establish yourself. All these All-Star Games and all those things are nice, in scoring, but when you get to a certain age, you've basically seen it all, and all you play for is for that ring. And I think that's the kind of energy we had from the beginning of the season this year, bringing Tyson in, who was unbelievable for us defensively again.
Yeah, it feels amazing now to know that nobody can ever take this away from us again, and for one year we're the best team that was out there. That feels amazing.

Q. Dirk, when do you feel like your team broke Miami down? Was it in Game 2 with the great comeback? Or was it the way you got them in Dallas?
DIRK NOWITZKI: Well, I think in a lot of games we kept fighting back. All the wins we got in the fourth quarter, at some point we were down, besides today, and the way we kept plugging. Even in Game 5, we were up like 7 or 8. They made a huge run and they go up by a couple of points. And we had to battle back again and fight through it. So I don't really know where it happened, but we're just a resilient, veteran team that always kept coming. We never stopped playing, and we kept believing in each other. That was phenomenal.
We talked about it in several time-outs, even when we were down, we have to keep executing, keep playing. You never know what's going to happen. And some of these wins we were able to come back. That was big.

Q. Can you talk about your leadership, stepping up and calling out teammates to deliver when they weren't.
DIRK NOWITZKI: Well, you know, I think at the beginning I had some problems with the leadership role and talking. But over the last couple of years I think I've been more comfortable. Obviously my English is a lot better than it was when I first got here. So it's just being more experienced, more comfortable talking to the guys, talking to the fellows, and the experience of seeing something on the court that you want to address. And I just think it all came together for me with hard work and experience.
It still feels unbelievable.

Q. Dirk, I'm wondering, can you talk about your shooting tonight. What was going on? How much of that was you? How much of that was them? And in a game that you guys were treating as a Game 7, what was that like to be going through that?
DIRK NOWITZKI: It was weird. In the first half I had so many good looks. I can't even explain it. I had some threes top of the key. I had a wide-open three in the corner. I had some pull-ups. I had some one-leg fadeaways that I normally make. But like I said, the team always told me, stay with it, stay with it. You're too good of a shooter, too good of a player to keep missing. So finally there in the third I made a three, and there in the fourth I was able to make a couple of pull-ups.
But like I said, this team every time somebody was down all season long, somebody else stepped in and picked them up. Mahinmi was unbelievable today, since Haywood went out a couple of days ago, and he gives us energy. All of a sudden makes some big shots today. So I think all season long if somebody was down, the team picked him up. So it was an amazing effort.

Q. Dirk, do you feel that this is more meaningful given that you've chosen to stay in Dallas, and you went from the failures and disappointments there to this point? And also, people talk about looking at you differently having won a title. Will you look at yourself and your career differently having won this title?
DIRK NOWITZKI: I don't know. That's something I'll look back to and I can always look back to the '10-'11 season and say we're the world champs. Nobody can ever take that away from me. So that's really the best thing about this.
Sticking to Dallas, that was the plan. We fell short so many times, and I committed for four more years this summer, and we didn't really know what was going to happen. We were a first-round, second-round exit a bunch of times. But consistency pays off. Like I said, Mark kept bringing in players. Losing Caron this year was an unbelievable blow. We kept playing, kept fighting through. Bringing Peja in, who was a big addition for us in earlier rounds of the playoffs.
So it wouldn't have felt right to win it somewhere else. I'm happy. I obviously made the right decision. And this is also for the Mavs fans, who have been through a lot of disappointments with me over the last couple of years. And they always stuck with me and kept supporting us. And the gym was always full in Dallas during the regular season. This is for them.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Dirk.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297