News of Kobe Bryant’s impending retirement hit Dirk Nowitzki hard, as it was yet another reminder of Father Time’s cruelty.
Nowitzki knows his NBA journey is fast-approaching its own end, and feels for Kobe who’s on his way out.
The future Hall of Famer reports that Bryant is the greatest player he has ever faced, a sentiment shared by Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle.
Per the Dallas Morning News:
“It’s disappointing,” Nowitzki said after the Mavericks’ shootaround Monday. “A lot of these warriors that were drafted in the ’90s are slowly fading away. And it’s obviously toward the end for us all. It’s a little sad.”
For Nowitzki, few games got his pulse racing like when he played against Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. […] “I’m happy for him that he made that decision for himself,” he said. “It could lift a little weight off his shoulder. To me, he’s probably the greatest player I’ve faced. And I’ve faced some great players with Tim Duncan and Shaq and all these guys. But he was something else, just scoring-wise, the shot-making ability was incredible. I was always a big fan. But it’s disappointing that we’re all getting old.”
Carlisle said Bryant is probably the most respected opponent he’s ever gone against as a player or a coach. […] “My take on the whole thing is that this is an ending in one respect, but he’s preparing for world dominance in some other area of the game,” Carlisle said. “I’m quite certain of that. I have as much respect for him as an opposing player as any player I’ve ever played against or coached against. When that guy walks in the building, you got a lot of problems to deal with. And you got a guy that’s a cold-blooded killer when it comes to winning time. We wish him the best, but I don’t think he’s going anywhere. He’ll be around either owning a team or running a team. If he’s smart, he won’t coach. And I think he’s pretty smart.”