Dirk Nowitzki held his fifth-annual Dirk Nowitzki Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic on Sunday. This was the first time that his foundation held the charity event since 2019.
Among the participants were Nowitzki, Luka Doncic, Ben Stiller, Andy Roddick, Mark Knowles, John Isner, Boris Kodjoe, Steve Nash, J.J. Barea, and Luke Bambridge. They all participated in a round-robin competition with proceeds benefiting the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, which awards grants to organizations supporting the wellbeing, health, and education of children.
“We got a great crew,” Nowitzki said. “We got hopefully a sold-out crew here. I think it’s going to be fantastic again. And you know, of course, we had a two-year break with our event. So, we were extremely excited to bring the fundraiser back.”
The lineup of contestants bantered back and forth before the event got underway. While the tournament was for charity, it was clear that there was pride on the line as many of the participants had played against each other before.
“I think he thinks he’s better than he really is,” Nowitzki joked about Doncic. “We’ve had some good trash talk battles, but he can play a little bit. I mean, he just needs to put in a little more work, but I always tell him to stick to basketball.”
Doncic, who has a good relationship with the Dallas Mavericks legend, was not about to back down. He was quick to retort.
“The challenge is, he never agreed to a one-on-one,” Doncic said. “So, I’m waiting.”
“Any day,” Nowtizki said.
Good thing there were multiple tennis courts available to them.
The biggest zinger of the day came from former Mavericks great and current Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash. Even though Nets training camp starts Monday, he was present, supporting his old friend and took the opportunity to roast him.
“Since they don’t have false modesty in Germany, when Ben [Rogers] says, ‘You are Dallas,’ you don’t say, ‘I know, thank you,’” Nash said. “You say ‘No, not me. There’s a lot of great people in town.’ It’s been a long summer with you.”
Nash had the final word at the end of the day. He and his partner, Spencer Papa, defeated British tennis pro Luke Bambridge and his partner Leo Antonio to take home the title in front of a sold-out crowd.
By all accounts, it was another successful tournament with the biggest winners being the children who will benefit from the money raised.