Dirk Nowitzki once manhandled Colorado

Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki might have been recruited by Northwestern and come close to going to Cal, but does anyone remember the time he put on a show against American college players?



Schools don't normally reminisce about their losses, but Colorado recalls how in 1997 during the team's four-game tour of Europe, an 18-year-old Nowitzki played on the German U-22 national team and went up against a Buffaloes team then coached by Ricardo Patton.

The result wasn't pretty for the Buffs. Nowitzki scored 35 points on 12-of-17 shooting, draining four 3-pointers and grabbing eight rebounds. According to the recap, Colorado had hopes of mounting a late comeback in the game, but then this happened:

Nowitzki, one of Europe's top players in his age group, scored 10 points in the game's final 2:00 after Colorado had closed Germany's lead to 72-66. With time running out on the shot clock and 2:00 to play, Nowitzki buried a 26-footer and then scored seven more points after that to secure the win.

The Germans won 83-66 in front of a sellout crowd in a game in Saarlouis, Germany that was broadcast on the country's version of ESPN, and Nowitzki showed that even as a teenager, he was really, really good. Colorado was coming off a trip to the NCAA tournament, but had lost Chauncey Billups to the NBA draft and was no match for Nowitzki.

Nowitzki would go on to get drafted in the first round the following year and eventually lead the Mavericks to an NBA title.

"That was a very talented team from Germany," Patton said after the game.