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German Precision, Basketball Converge At DIFF2015 – DIRK!

April 15th, 2015 · Tags:Arts · Cities · Sports

Confession. I never got over the disappointment of the Dallas Mavericks allowing Steve Nash to slip through their fingers to free agency, reminiscent of how the mop-headed point guard eluded so many star-studded defenses during his all-star career. Arguably the best soccer player to ever quarterback an NBA team … Nash revolutionized the point guard position. And then he was gone.

But, before he left, he also helped to introduce a young European to America. When Nash came to Dallas, the Mavs had one legitimate star in Michael Finley. As Finley peaked, he and Nash helped to groom a future superstar — teaching him American culture, the language, the game and the positive side of the NFL lifestyle. The Mavs had discovered and signed a tall, skinny, foreigner with a big smile, a “Scooby Doo Shaggy” look with a German accent and the work ethic to match.

 

Michael Finley

 

Together, those three came so close to basketball history for Dallas, but it was not to be.

 

 

 

Finley went on to the San Antonio Spurs, finally getting his ring, before finishing in green … as a Celtic. (Finley is on The Mavs coaching staff today.) Nash continued to shine for years with the Phoenix Suns but captured no gold (He announced his retirement at 41 — Dirk’s number — in March … sadly as a member of the evil Lakers.)

 

The young German … Dirk Nowitzki became the franchise, perfecting his fade away jumper and became the soul of The Dallas Mavs, after all those years, propelling a perennial mediocre team to the world championship. The 13-time NBA all-star and world champion is number seven and rising on the all-time scoring list … and yet Dirk is the consummate team player.

 

The Mavs who won it all in 2011 did not resemble those scrappy teams of Dallas past. The entire team, the brand, the look, the attitude and the notoriety were all super-sized and supercharged by a young, gregarious, outspoken — even bratty — basketball loving, referree-bashing, player-wanna-be in billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

 

Two Cubans

 

Three of those giants of the game were in Big D last night on the red carpet of the Dallas International Film Festival 2015. Also, two of the guys who helped to steer Mark Cubans’ dreams to reality, were also on the red rug … as if to complete some fantasy all-star 2-3 zone lineup. Coaching legends, father and son, Don and Donnie Nelson also posed for photos, did interviews and provided the backgrounds for many a selfie.

 

Nowitzki film

 

 

All of this good basketball karma converged on Dallas to help promote one film — “Nowitzki. The Perfect Shot.” Already a hit in Dirk’s Fatherland, the Dallas start for the film was it’s U.S. premiere. In the film — an almost prequel to the Der Dunk’s NBA career — Director Sebastian Dehnhardt showcases the years that led up to the NBA and more precisely, the precision, unorthodox mentoring of coach/German/physicist Holger Geschwindner.

Holger Geschwindner

 

All this is to say … PingWi-Fi couldn’t pass up the chance to fire off a few questions about Dirk’s buddy Steve Nash and The Mavs at the event in Dallas.  (I mean, even Jordan Spieth is trying to get on Dirk’s scorecard …)  I shared the one German word in my repertoire with Dirk — ha, a profanity — and although unimpressed … he laughed and talked to me anyway:)

 

Know what I sayin?