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Dirk in 1998: Hopefully the NBA works out

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Carolyn Herter/NBAE/Getty Images

Mavs.com just dug up a gem from the archives -- a Q&A with Dirk Nowitzki shortly after he was taken with Dallas' first-round pick in the 1998 NBA Draft.

The story, which originally ran in XXL, opens with a pickup argument between two NBA players about whether Nowitzki would ever be a "great" player. It's hard to picture Dirk as just another foreign gamble, albeit a 7-footer with a silky shot.

The whole interview is dryly amusing in retrospect, but here are some of the best lines:

XXL: Did Mavs coach Don Nelson and the media really have to do much convincing to get you to come to America?

Nowitzki: I had many choices to make, but I decided to come to the NBA. It is the best league in the world. I think that it was a good decision, but we will have the see once the season starts.

Can you fathom how intense the NBA is going to be?

No, no. I cannot fathom it, because I have never played in this league. I cannot imagine what’s going on. The first two years it’s just about learning everything and getting to know everything and hopefully it works out.

Have you thought about the players you are going to play against?

Sure, I am going to play against players I’ve only seen on TV. It’s a big difference. You know my idol was Scottie Pippen for a long time. It will be great if I get to play against him.


Yes, Dirk, I think it was a good decision.

Here's the full interview.