“It’ll be amazing to play with him,” Parsons said on a conference call with Dallas reporters.
Parsons, the 25-year-old, multi-skilled small forward, intends to take full advantage of the opportunity. Parsons was a captain in Houston last season and plans to take on significant leadership role in Dallas, but there’s no doubt he’ll be in line behind the big German and looks forward to following and learning from Nowitzki.
As a former second-round pick who had to prove he was worth a roster spot, much less a starting job, Parsons prides himself on being an extremely hard worker. He can learn to work smarter by watching Nowitzki and picking the future Hall of Famer’s brain.
“Everything he does, I’m going to be a sponge and absorb everything,” Parsons said. “I look forward to getting into the gym with him, getting there early and getting shots up with him. It’s not often that you get to play with one of the greatest of all time, so I’m looking forward to absorbing any info I can.”
Nowitzki and Parsons have developed a friendship over the last few years, with Parsons playing in Nowitzki’s charity baseball game a couple of times. When they go out to dinner next season, Parsons should probably pick up the checks, considering Nowitzki’s drastic hometown-discount deal made it possibly for the Mavs to bid aggressively and sign the restricted free agent to a three-year, $46 million deal.
Of course, Nowitzki didn’t accept a three-year, $25 million deal to make room on the roster for his friends. He did it because he values the Mavs having a chance to contend more than money at this point in his career.
“That just shows what kind of guy he is,” Parsons said. “Dirk is a true professional. He’s so loyal to Dallas and this organization. Those are the types of guys you want in the locker room and the types of guys you want to play with.”
It’s also the type of guy that Parsons can learn a lot from.