Dirk Nowitzki, now 35-years old, is the oldest participate for the 63rd NBA All-Star. This will be his 12th appearance, and with Kevin Garnett or Kobe Bryant playing, he is now the veteran guidance for a plethora of young talent. But Dirk is humbled by it all.
“Kobe, Tim Duncan, Shaq whenever he was here, and now I’m the old guy”, says Dirk. “For me, I’m just happy to be back after two tough years since winning it all.”
Last season was the only All-Star game that he has missed since the 2001-02 season. He had his best performance in the 2010 game with 22 points. I caught up with the Big German for a quick Q-and-A before tonight’s game.
How special is your return back to the All-Star game?
“I will never forget my first one. That was the most special one, to be named an All-Star from all the hard work you put in. It was an amazing experience for me to be in the same locker room with guys I use to watch growing up playing. That was really special for me, so I would say my first one was my most special one.”
“This one is nice because obviously I wasn’t here last year. I had some knee problems last season and I wasn’t quite sure to what level I could come back to. I put a lot of work in last summer, so it kind of paid off for me.”
You have a NBA MVP, 12 All-Star appearances, a championship, and you even won the three-point contest. What is next?
“I just love to compete still. It’s fun to go out there and play with the young guys and hopefully, maybe one day compete for a championship again. Thats what drives me, winning drives me now. We have a decent team this year, so it’s been fun again. Hopefully we can keep it up and keep competing at a high level for my last couple years and we will go from there.”