Joel Embiid said Dirk Nowitzki had a huge impact on his career ever since he first saw his tapes

Joel Embiid said Dirk Nowitzki had a huge impact on his career ever since he first saw his tapes

Dirk Nowitzki participated in his last All-Star game this Sunday and will retire from the NBA after 21 seasons this year. Coming from Europe as a teenager, a lot of scouts didn’t predict he would have a great career, but Dirk surpassed all that and will be remembered as a truly revolutionary player.

Dirk was a versatile 7 footer with an impeccable shooting ability better than a lot of guards in the league at that time. Now, a lot of big men in the NBA are efficient shooters but Dirk was truly one of the first big guys who could shoot from pretty much any position on the floor. 

Joel Embiid, who was Dirk’s teammate in this year’s All-Star game is another versatile big men, and also someone who studied Dirk’s game long before he came into the league. 

His first coach was the one who showed him Dirk’s tapes back in 2011 when Embiid started playing basketball and he was amazed by Dirk’s patented move.

It was great. Back in 2011 when I started playing basketball. My first practice, my coach had a tape of all the great big men from the past and present. He was on that tape and that is when I first saw his move, that fade away from one leg. You know that used to be my move every single time for a long time when I started to play basketball, that is all I knew, and I loved it. I would dribble, spin and then fade away off one leg. I used to do it all the time. He had a huge impact on basketball, especially for us, Africans, Europeans, Asians. I’m really thankful for him.