Dirk Nowitzki on fleeing the Finals

July, 5, 2011
7/05/11
4:28
PM ET
Abbott By Henry Abbott
ESPN.com
Archive
Cathrin Gilbert of the German magazine Spiegel has done a fascinating interview with Dirk Nowitzki, where he says things like he can't fathom why people with as much money as him would clutter up their lives hawking watches and the like. He also talks about how he has had the flu for a month, what Barack Obama means to him and his team, how he is not the anti-LeBron, and how learning to play the drums helps his basketball game.

A notable exchange:
SPIEGEL: You were chosen as the most valuable player of the finals. The fans see you as the player who led the Dallas Mavericks to the title. Does the sudden affection of American fans make you uncomfortable?

Nowitzki: I don't think that I played all that exceptionally in the finals. If we hadn't played so well together as a team, it would have been disastrous. When the whistle blew to end the sixth and decisive game, blood rushed to my head. Without even thinking about what I was doing, I ran toward the locker room.

SPIEGEL: The game was still going on when you fled. There were still a couple of seconds on the clock.

Nowitzki: I only know that many of our PR people ran after me. They yelled: "Stay here. You can't do that. The trophy is going to be presented." I said: "I don't want it." I got into the shower, pressed my face into a towel and began to cry. Then I heard them yelling again. "Dirk!" I said: "They should give it to someone else." Not exactly worthy of a champion, is it?

SPIEGEL: After you calmed down, you received the trophy as a team captain should.

Nowitzki: Yes, thank God. It was close.

Henry Abbott | email

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