My Top 5 Dirk Moments, What Are Yours?

Cory Mageors
July 23, 2018 - 12:48 pm
Dirk Nowitzki

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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Dirk Nowitzki is now entering his 21st year in the NBA as a Dallas Maverick. Some people will be able to have their first legal beer while watching Dirk play this season.

I’ve been watching Dirk play basketball more than half of my life. I’m 37.

That’s a long career that most hoop-stars won’t even see half of.

He’s made us smile, he’s cried with us, he’s spent an entire offseason on a wild bender, as we have as well. And through all of this, he’s taken Mavericks basketball to its peak, and seen some of it’s lowest moments.

And that’s partly what is driving him to keep it up now:

Love that guy.

So he’s signed another $5 million deal, and I wanted to take a moment to celebrate my personal Top 5 Dirk Moments. I’m sure you have your own list, and it might be far better than mine, but over a 21-year span this man has made many different impressions on millions of Mavs fans. Make sure to tweet me yours @inthemageors

5- DIRK GETS TOOTH KNOCKED OUT

It was 2001, the Mavs had just beaten the Jazz and the San Antonio Spurs were on their 4th consecutive year in the playoffs (a stretch which now sits at 21). Dirk scores 30 but has his tooth knocked out by a Terry Porter elbow.

Specifically, I remember them playing the play over in slo-mo and zooming in on the tooth as it flew through the air. Pretty sure he found it too.

Dirk comes back into the game and the Mavs win 112-108 in their only win in the Conference Semifinals that year. Even still, this moment was when I realized that we had a tough son of a gun on our team.

4- DIRK BEATS TMAC

It was a Thursday night at my bar in Uptown in 2004, I was watching here and there throughout the night but I kept noticing we had a little battle brewing. At halftime the Mavs were up 56-51, Dirk had 22pts and Tracy McGrady had 25.

The fourth quarter, I got to sit down and watch the rest of the game and Dirk started lighting up the board. He scored 13 points and McGrady had 11, missing a free throw to send it into OT.

Dirk scored 10 straight points in OT and the Mavs won 113-106 Dirk 53, McGrady 48. I was watching two of my favorite offensive players go back and forth in a December game like each one was willing their respective team over the top in a playoff bout.

3- DIRK MEETS FLULA

Our friend Flula who you’ve seen in Pitch Perfect 2, Ferdinand his movie Buddy Moon, and as a guest numerous times on Conan came into our lives with this video.

The K&C Masterpiece played the song on our weekend show and formed a fantastic friendship.

One night, he was in Dallas and we told him we’d take him to a game. We got down on the court and the Mavs PR people saw him and freaked out. “Oh my god it’s FLULA!”

They asked if he wanted to meet Dirk and we got to go with him. He was a kid in a candy store and we felt like we just made his wish come true. What was even cooler, was when Dirk walked out his eyes lit up and they hugged and started speaking in German together and he was just as big of a fan of Flula as Flula was of him.

Years later, Flula played in Dirk’s Heroes Charity Baseball Game!

2- DIRK WITH THE LEFTY LAYUP

A lot of people will say the moment the clock ticked down and Dirk ran off the court and it was official that the Mavs were NBA Champions is their No. 1.

That’s all and well, but I predicted many times on the weekend show with Kevin that the Heat were a better matchup than the Bulls and I thought they could beat them.

Plus revenge. The Mavericks had revenge on their side.  

If there are three motivating factors for athletes it’s Revenge/Grudge, Contract Season and Fun Babies (gotta make that money).

This was the game, that in the fourth quarter right in front of the Mavs bench, Lebron James and Dwyane Wade started acting out a little boxing thing after Wade hit a corner three and Dirk was standing there watching. I watched in slo-mo as Dirk’s eyes filled with fire.

In the fourth quarter, Dirk gets an amazing screen from Tyson Chandler for three with about 27 ticks left.  Then Dirk does all the Dirk moves with seconds ticking off the clock and Jeff Van Gundy starts hollering about how Dirk is making his move too soon, 3.6 left. Wade tries a desperation three over Dirk and fakes a foul that doesn't get called. The Mavs team runs to Dirk stepping over Wade laying on the floor and they pound his chest in celebration. GAME OVER

That moment, I knew Dirk was unstoppable. That was the greatest moment for me because I was a little nervous for the Mavs getting routed after losing Game 1, but that lefty layup told me Dirk would not let 2006 happen again. And he didn’t.

1- MY SON HIGH FIVE’S DIRK

The championship parade was awesome. My wife had a couple of tickets to her company suite and I took my then 3-year-old son with me. We watched most of the parade within the confines of the arena and then saw the entire team had made its way to the balcony.

Avery and I walked over to the area in the Platinum Club level and noticed a small crowd inside watching. Outside Dirk was singing We Are The Champions to thousands of singing MFFL. It was an awesome moment. Then, as the Mavericks came through the club to head down to the arena floor where they would address the fans again, my son was on my shoulders in line with Dirk’s eyes.

Now, Avery and I watched every single game we could that season together. I have pictures of him sitting in our living room in his Dirk jersey screaming after big plays. So Avery absolutely knew who Dirk was.

He started to claw at my head and I looked up and he said “There’s Dirk!”

Over a row of people, Dirk reached back and gave Avery a high five as he made his way through the crowd.

My kid had the biggest smile on his blue cotton candy covered face and I couldn’t stop smiling with him. There we were, 26 years apart and cheering for our favorite player.

Dirk has reached generations of Mavs fans and this year he will add yet another group that will be able to watch at least one more season of his amazing career.

All of these Dirk moments are memories I somehow was able to capture and hold on to.

And this season I hope we’ll have one more moment to add to our bank.