There is no doubt the greatest player in Dallas Maverick’s history is Dirk Nowitzki. Even after he retired, there will be for an extended period before someone else in the NBA will be associated with that franchise the same way Dirk was during his long and illustrious career.
Dallas Mavericks also have an exciting person as their owner in Mark Cuban, who is heavily involved in his team and the NBA. The relationship between Cuban and Dirk as their best franchise player is on a friendship level with a fantastic display of respect between the two.
Mark Cuban bought the team in 2000 when Dirk was a newcomer and one of the best young players in the NBA. Cuban invested heavily in the organization, which led to numerous playoff appearances and an NBA title back in 2011. Dirk would often sign for less money, which provided Dallas the financial flexibility to chase all-star caliber players.
Author by the name of Ian Thomsen published a book, “The Soul of Basketball: The Epic Showdown Between LeBron, Kobe, Doc, and Dirk That Saved the NBA,” has several stories about Nowitzki, including one in which he went after Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
In Zach Lowe’s podcast, Thomsen and Lowe remembered the play from the 2010-2011 season, where things got a bit hectic between the two. Here’s Lowe take on the whole incident, via ESPN.
“There’s a lot about Cuban in the book and how the players learn to tune out when he’s yelling at them during the games. And another moment from that season … they screw up a possession … Dirk inbounds the ball and Cuban’s yelling at Dirk because he had just made a mistake or something happened.”
Apparently, everyone on the team remembers this: Dirk passed the ball back into play with one hand, and as he pulled out his mouthguard with the other hand, he shouted, “Shut the fuck up!” at Cuban.”
It seems when game-time is on, there is nothing more important than the win for both Cuban and Dirk. Cuban has a lot of respect for Dirk, who is probably the only person in the league who can confront the owner himself.