Dirk Nowitzki is synonymous with the word “loyalty.” He may have won one ring, but at the end of the day, one of the reasons why Dirk’s so respected is because he stayed with one franchise, the Dallas Mavericks, throughout his storied 21-year-tenure in the NBA.
When Howard Beck asked him about superstars switching teams in today’s league, Nowitzki shared he believes it’s not the way to go. The German superstar feels that player empowerment has become so prominent in today’s era that it needs to be toned down a bit.
“It’s new,” Nowitzki said on The Crossover podcast. “We always felt like we the players didn’t have enough power at the beginning of my career (in 1998), and the owners had all the power, could make all the moves. And now it’s almost shifting like a little bit too much. I think there should be a happy medium. But now the players forcing themselves out, to me, is not the way to go, either,” Nowitzki added.
Dirk did what was best for him
The Mavericks legend also pointed out that not every superstar can stay on one team because they are entitled to do what’s best for them at the end of the day.
However, Nowitzki believes that his brand was to stay loyal to the blue and white. After all, he loved his family, living conditions, and community in Dallas, which is why it was a no-brainer for him to stay.
“I was old school. I don’t want to sit here and judge these guys that are doing that. I think everybody has to know what’s best for themselves, for their career, for their brand - you know, everybody has a brand now - and what’s best for their family. For me, it was staying in Dallas. It worked out great there. And I’ve had my family there and I loved it and I grew into that community. So that’s something that just worked for me. But of course, I get it. It’s not for everybody.”
Dirk Nowitzki, The Crossover
The NBA has become a player empowerment league
This era has become all about player empowerment from LeBron James, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, and many more superstars. Nowitzki said it himself. Gone are the days when team owners and general managers take complete control of the player’s tenure with the organization. Players have found a way to utilize their power and use it for their benefit — which is why loyalty has become so rare these days.
But Nowitzki is right when he said that at the end of the day, players must do what benefits them best — even if this means loyalty gets compromised in the process. The secret is to find a happy medium between wasting your career on an incapable franchise and bailing the first time things get hard.