Dirk Nowitzki was on 105.3 The Fan's Ben & Skin Show on Wednesday night talking about the Mavericks, the playoffs and other various things. Here's about half of the interview transcribed, but if you want to listen to the whole thing, you can do that right here.
Why are you going through this stretch right now where you're just as effective as any four in the league?
I wish we would have won a few more of those games, but yeah, I think honestly the All-Star break was for me. To basically have a week of relaxing, I went to the beach this time and really just put my legs up. Got a little workout in in the morning when I got up, just to stay in shape, stay ready, and that really helped me, even though the first game out of the break was ugly, in Orlando. But since then, I've had a pretty decent rhythm, feel good and hopefully I can keep it up here during these last few weeks of the season. With Parsons out, we're going to need everyone to play well obviously, to play at a high level to sneak into the playoffs.
How tough was it to find out about Parsons' season-ending injury?
We found out Wednesday then I called him and he was crushed. He was crushed. I felt really bad for him because last year he had a major surgery and seeing him every day in the summer how hard he worked. And then working through the frustrations at the beginning of the season when he was on minutes restrictions and it wasn't going so well, to see him basically work through that, work through frustrations, and probably the last two, two and half months, playing some of the best basketball of his career, being active, making shots, making plays for us off the dribble, off the pick-and-roll, he was posting some other smaller guys, I think he was just playing all-around game for us. He was really frustrated and I think the team was really sad for him but this is hopefully a smaller, minor thing and hopefully in a few weeks he can already start working out again and feel good about his season next year. I think we're all bummed for him but as a team we're in the midst of a playoff battle without him so obviously we had to move on and get the job done.
What do you have to focus on to make the playoffs?
The margin of error is slim with our team, obviously. Sometimes against those better teams we give up a lot of athleticism, we give up some talent that other guys have. We've got to play a solid game. Last night (against the Blazers), I felt like we gave up too many turnovers, we didn't get to some 50/50 balls, we had some bad bounces. I feel like for us to win against those good teams on the road, a lot of guys have to play well, got to play solid defensively, got to rebound the ball well. Every turnover, it seems like, since we're a smaller team, every turnover seems to be a layup on the other end, so we've got to be solid defensively and try to get at least a good shot up every time. We've just got to be sharp in a lot of areas to squeeze in down the stretch.
If the Mavericks go into a rebuilding mode, would you consider going somewhere else?
You know, that's something I'll focus on this summer. I'm in the midst of chasing the playoffs here and trying to play well and compete every night. That's something we'll revisit this summer. Obviously I still have a year on the contract, I could choose to opt out, I think that's in the contract, but honestly I haven't really spent a lot of thought on that at all. I really want to make the playoffs bad. I think our fanbase deserves that. It's always a fun part of the year when it's warm out, when the competition is high, so we'd love to be a part of that. Everything else we can come together and talk about after. There's just not enough thought put into that right now. Hopefully we can squeeze in and make the playoffs and we can talk about all that later.
How does it make you feel that your teammates feel like they have an obligation to you to get you to the playoffs?
It's nice to me to go to the playoffs, but like I said, it's also nice for the fan base. We've been basically, my entire career, we've only missed the playoffs a couple times. The first was when I had knee surgery and other than that, besides my first two years, we've always made the playoffs, we usually win 50 games. We kind of want to give that to the fan base as well. So that's what we're working on. With Parsons, I agree. It's not like he had surgery and whatever so he could come back for the playoffs, to miss the most fun time of the year twice is a row is even more devastating for him, and that's why he was so bumped last week, to miss back-to-back the prime time, crunch time of the season. But he's young. He's only 27. Hopefully he'll recover quick from that and he won't have any problems the rest of his career.
Should the Warriors go for the record 73 wins in a season?
That's a tough call, that's a tough call. I think if you're this close, you should go for the record. That's a season for the ages. That Bulls team was obviously the best in history, but they're right there. I know they're a little banged up now, with Iguodala missing the last two games, but that's a tough call, that's a tough call. But God, if you're so close to making history, I'd probably give it a shot. The playoffs in the West can be a grind and there's a bunch of tough teams, so it's a tough call, but we'll see what they do.
Are you a big sneakers guy and if so what's your favorite?
That's funny, there's a reason I don't really give a lot of interviews about that because I couldn't really care less. I do have some sneakers at home that I love and sometimes I wear some old pair in and they're all green like I just cut the lawn and the whole team's killing me, like, "Throw these out, you've had these since your rookie year." I'm not the guy has 200, 300 pairs at home. I just wear my pair, I still have some Jordans, (Finley) gave me some my second or third year in the league, when I broke those out the other day I absolutely got murdered, so you know, material things don't mean that much to me and never really have. I can go throw a game, spend a whole game guarding somebody, and after the game somebody will ask me, "Did you see what kind of shoes that guy was wearing?" and I'd be like, "No, I didn't at all, it didn't even cross my mind to look at his frickin' shoes." That's just not my style.
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Dirk talked more about Salah Mejri, about there being too much German media, about teams that built through the draft versus teams who acquired talent through free agency, and about beating the Miami Heat back in the 2011 NBA Finals. You should go listen to it!