Some choice quotes below from Spiegel’s incredible interview with Dirk Nowitzki. Dude continues to win us over.
Nowitzki: […] Of course it fills me with pride to hear that fans in Germany got up at 2 a.m. to watch our games and that they celebrated the championship in my hometown of Würzburg as if Germany had just won the football World Cup.
Nowitzki: But soon I will have lived in America for 13 years. At the beginning I was condescended to and laughed at. “The nice boy from Germany will never make it,” people said. Still, I never gave up. Now, I have been celebrated by 250,000 people in Dallas at the championship parade. That was an unbelievably intense feeling. I trembled.
SPIEGEL: You are now a.
Nowitzki: To be honest, I slowly have the feeling that I’m not cut out for such moments.
SPIEGEL: What do you mean?
Nowitzki: Well, at the very least I don’t behave terribly competently. I feel ashamed when the entire focus is on me. I think people can see that. In public appearances, I am stiff as a board.
SPIEGEL: You have long been reserved when it comes to sponsoring gigs. Is that going to change in the future?
Nowitzki: There certainly isn’t a shortage of offers. You wouldn’t believe how many watch manufacturers have sent me their models. Just like that. I give them all away. I am satisfied with what I have. How crazy do you have to be when you can afford everything but still clutter up your life with all sorts of advertising appointments? No thanks.
SPIEGEL: Did any German politicians call to congratulate you?
Nowitzki: I think that (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel called my adviser. I’m not totally sure. But do you know what made me the happiest?
Nowitzki: Muhammad Ali sent me a package.
SPIEGEL: What was in it?
Nowitzki: A boxing glove with the inscription: “You are the greatest.” Please don’t ask me immediately about the political meaning of the gift. I was simply happy and sent Ali a golden basketball with a similar inscription.
What a guy.