For those of you who missed it, Dirk Nowitzki joined Ben & Skin on Tuesday morning for 30 very candid minutes on 103.3 FM. The NBA Finals MVP let his guard down and provided insight for his championship-moment exit, the Finals afterparty and his plans for the summer.
Here's a mere snippet of what he had to say, or you can just click the link below to hear the whole interview -- and the tone in which Dirk said it. It's must-listen audio for any Mavericks fan:
Why he left the floor immediately after winning the championship:
"In my career and my life, so far, I had two huge goals and they were to go to the Olympics and to win a world championship. After both big moments when I achieved [them], I needed a moment to myself. It was the same in Athens when we clinched to go to Beijing. I couldn’t talk for like 30 minutes. I had to go into the locker room and lay down and was crying like a little baby. I just needed a little time.
"The same happened in Miami. I had to run off the court. I needed a couple minutes so I was laying in the shower with a towel in front of my face. The PR guy for the NBA was running back and saying, “You gotta come out, they are about to present the trophy” and I was like, “I don’t want it. Give it to me in 30 minutes. Hold the whole celebration up.” And they were like, “No, you have to come out in a couple minutes” so at least I had like five or six minutes to gather myself and get a couple tears out of the way. Then I was fine.
"If you work for something so hard for so long and you put so much work into it to finally reach your goal, it’s just like the emotions come out and a lot of pressure comes off. Not only the pressure that the public puts on you, but also myself. I put the most pressure on myself to perform and make my dreams come true. Once that happened, it always comes out and everything flows out a bit."
On Holger Geschwindner sitting down throughout the championship party:
"He’s a freak. Honestly, I think it is one of his proudest moments too. He’s been hearing the critics all along about how you can’t get it done. I think he was just so overwhelmed texting people and I’m sure he got a million texts. My phone was blowing up and I didn’t even care. I was partying. We had the biggest champagne bottle I’ve ever seen in my life. That thing was so huge. I was just having the time of my life and really enjoying the championship, but I was wondering too. I was like, 'Holger, get up. What are you doing? Let’s start dancing or do something,' but he was just sitting there texting people.
"[Holger] was in his leather jacket. He’s been wearing that, it’s got to be the last 10 years straight almost every day. The guys on the team murder him every day when it’s like 100 degrees out and he walks in with a leather jacket and then finally we go somewhere into a gym and its cold and he’s like, 'See. I told you.' Its 120 degrees out, why do you always wear that jacket?"
About the party at a club on South Beach:
"We’ve got the trophy in the club, which was a circus. I thought somebody may run away with it for sure. Cuban was just handing it out like it was a bottle of water. I saw random people with it and was like, 'Oh God, this can’t end good.' But our security guys did a good job keeping an eye on it. It was an unbelievable night to go in there with the trophy with the guys. It was great."
Has he touched a basketball since winning the championship?
"I will not for awhile. The only thing I’m debating is whether I’ll play for the German national team this summer which is at the end of August when we have the European Championship coming up. So if I do that, I probably have to start working out in the middle of July, so I only have three more weeks of rest if I do that. If not, then I’ll probably take off longer.
"I did do a little cardio [because] you never just want to completely go down to zero fitness-wise and start all over because that is the hardest thing, especially when you’re over 30 [years old]. You always want to keep a level of fitness. I played some tennis this week which was fun and I did a little cardio, but I won’t touch a ball for at least a month."
Did beating the Miami Heat for the championship make it sweeter?
"I don’t know, maybe. Like I said during this run, it’s taken five long years to get back to the Finals. We had a great year after we went to the Finals, winning 70 games. Then basically you think that we were right back playing at a high level on that stage in no time, but it took us five long years and a bunch of first-round exits [to get back]. If we got back to that stage, I probably would have played the Clippers if I could or really anybody because it was such a long, grinding run to get back. Maybe it made it a little extra special in the end to beat the Big Three. Maybe that was the case, but like I said, I would have played anybody at that point because it was just so hard and so long to get back there."
Was there extra incentive from Dwyane Wade’s comments in 2006 and 2007?
"Yeah, it was. I think that everybody knows that we aren’t the closest friends. We are competitors. Stuff was said there in those Finals. I said that we gave the Finals away and that probably didn’t sit well with Wade. That’s why he said some of the things he said. I don’t think that necessarily fueled me. I think that the experience of losing in the Finals helped me as a player to work harder and to be a better closer and to just come back stronger every year. I think it was good for me to go through that experience of losing one, but I never let critics get to me. I knew I had to work on my game to get better and be a better all around player to help those guys. Over the years I’ve just added more and just the jump shot. What I was able to do this playoff run was get to the line, able to drive more and get to the basket on key plays. Just being a better all-around player and losing in 2006. It’s definitely good now because the critics basically have to shut up. I heard for my whole career that my style can’t win because it is just jump shooting off of one leg and it wasn’t consistent enough. And that’s partly why this one is so sweet too."