Note: this article originally appeared on MavsFanatic.com
Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to watch Sebastian Dehnhardt’s documentary, Nowitzki: The Perfect shot at Studio Movie Grill Northwest Highway, which debuted in select theaters across North Texas this past weekend.
By now, we all know the crux of the Dirk Wener Nowitzki story. A tall, lanky, buck-toothed German lad out of Würzburg, Germany, sent to Dallas at the ripe age of 20 to become the face of a franchise at a time when the Dallas Mavericks were one of the worst in the NBA.
Fast forward to today: 13 All-Star appearances, 4 All-NBA First Team selections, an NBA MVP, a Finals MVP and an NBA championship later, you have one of the most revered, living legends in Dallas sports history.
Let’s be honest. The past week has been an absolute disaster. Following the debacle that was DeAndre Jordan’s Indecision, now is as good a time as ever for Mavs fans to sit back and appreciate what we have with Dirk. A humble, under the radar, superstar who wants no part of the pomp and circumstance that follows it.
He’s just “that dude.” Just the “Tall Baller from the G,” that’s really good at basketball and just so happens to get paid for it. And that’s exactly what this documentary portrays.
The film isn’t an all-encompassing story about Dirk’s life as a whole, but starts in his teens and tells the story of a young guy that just simply loved basketball, had a dream to play in the NBA and with the help of his mentor and coach Holger Geschwinder, was willing to work as hard as necessary in order to get there. Pairing Holger’s science and passion for the game with Dirk’s work ethic and raw talent, they took his unique combination of size and skill to create one of the greatest shooting big men in the history of the NBA.
In a sense, the documentary was almost just as much about Holger as it was about Dirk. You get a behind-the-scenes look at their relationship, and value the Dirk placed on it along with his family and close friends. You get to see some incredible video clips and pictures in the documentary from several points throughout his entire life and it makes you realized just how much he has grown right in front of us.
I remember at one point getting irritated of having to read the German subtitles. But looking back now, I actually appreciate it. We forget how Dirk came to Dallas and had to quickly adapt to a completely different culture and lifestyle. We talk differently than Germans. We look at basketball differently and value things in life different. And that’s what Dirk had to go through while dealing with the pressure of the future success of a franchise on his shoulders. Although he had his fair share of bumps although the way, it turns out he was more than capable of shouldering that burden.
Most importantly, he never lost himself, despite the struggles and pressure. He never lost his humility. He continued to work hard and became this superhuman basketball player that we take for granted. This documentary gives us all the opportunity to appreciate that.
There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki. This past week has reminded us all of this fact. A maxed-out DeAndre Jordan will never even come close in comparison to what we have in Dirk. And, one day when Dirk is ready to hang it up and hand off the torch to Chandler Parsons in his bro tank, we’ll think back at moments from this documentary and appreciate it all.
I highly recommend this film. But not for Mavs fans, because I know you’ll watch it and appreciate it, but for the non-Mavs fans who want to get to know the REAL Dirk.
More info: magpictures.com/nowitzki
Photo Credit: Magnolia Pictures; NFP/Broadview