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Rick Pitino's secret plan to draft Dirk Nowitzki for the Celtics

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Nowitzki was wanted by Boston in the 1998 NBA Draft before the Mavericks snuck in front of them to grab him.

After passing Shaquille O'Neal last week, only five people in the history of planet Earth have scored more points in the NBA than Dirk Nowitzki. He's the alpha and omega of this Maverick franchise and the greatest athlete the city of Dallas has ever seen. He'll have a large marble statue in Victory Plaza after he retires in 2052.

Nowitzki and the Mavericks seem inextricable, but the two were almost separated before they could even begin. Before the 1998 draft, then-Celtics head coach Rick Pitino had a secret plan draft Dirk as the heir apparent to Larry Bird. He told the story at a press conference back in 2011. With Nowitzki ascending the all-time scoring list for perhaps the last time, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at Pitino's story about Dirk putting on a legendary workout.

(Boston, of course, ended up with Paul Pierce, so don't feel too bad.)

The clips are mostly of Dirk's early years when he was basically a wing playing power forward, but stick around to the end to hear Rick Carlisle wax poetic about the greatest Maverick of all-time.