Thursday, June 9th, 2011 at 10:00 am  |  18 responses

Video: Rick Pitino’s Dirk Nowitzki Story

Rick Regrets Not Getting Dirk

The Courier-Journal brings us a pretty neat clip of a story former Boston Celtics coach Rick Pitino told about his unfulfilled wish to draft Dirk Nowitzki back in the 1998 NBA Draft (the C’s consolation prize was Paul Pierce.) From the Herald: “It’s fairly well documented that Rick Pitino and the Celtics were hot on drafting Dirk Nowitzki in the 1998 NBA Draft. The German-born Nowitzki was well known in his country, but had only been exposed in the States while playing in the Nike Hoop Summit the summer of the draft. Just the same, Pitino thought he had him wrapped up at No. 10, and that not too many other teams knew about him. Of course, he was wrong. The Milwaukee Bucks drafted him No. 9, right before the Celtics, and immediately traded him to the Mavericks, where he has blossomed into one of the best players in the NBA. The Celtics landed on their feet, drafting Paul Pierce with the No. 10 pick. Pitino recently talked about missing out on Nowitzki during a press conference at Louisville. And the tale he tells is an interesting one.”

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  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    But he really REALLY regrets not getting Duncan.

  • Charles

    Wicked story.

  • riz

    great story…wish we could know the “unknown” portion, but who knows what that could be, or lead to.

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com Seth

    Rigo, how can he regret Duncan if he didn’t have the chance to draft him? He went #1 to the Spurs. Celtics had the #3 pick.

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    Right you are, Seth.
    I meant, when he was the coach the Celtics had two high draft picks and he thought for sure one of them would be the number one pick.
    First pick went to the Spurs. So I meant he wishes the Celtics had had the first overall pick that year, as he had hoped for.

  • @Deknowz


  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    sick story, we want the dirty part too though

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max


  • dallasmavsfan

    Love this story! Dirk is amazing! He’s a humble, talented giant and I feel he doesn’t get the credit he deserves!!

    ***Praying for the MAVS!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 DFrance21

    One can only wonder how he would have turned out in Boston. He had it rough in the beginning in Dallas and we all know Boston fans are a tad bit more passionate. But it pretty much worked out well for both sides… Except Pitino… who got fired.

  • Marco

    You’ve got to click on the second link, the boston herald one, and check the comments. There is a very bright mind who referred to me first, egocentric players as “PRE-MADONAS”, istead of prima donnas.
    don’t know why but this cracks me up, hahaha

  • flipnoyce

    Thats one hell of a story coach PITINO. That would have been a hard decision to choose from between Pierce and Dirk knowing what we know now and what we didn’t knew back then. They are both sure hall of famer’s in my book when their career comes to a halt. I’d still pick Pierce over Dirk though thats just me, its the TRUTH!

  • el_larsen

    al pacino

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    Dirk any day.

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    What a great story. Must’ve been really disheartening to miss out on your “secret” draft choice. But PP is hardly a bad pick. Imagine having a secret like Dirk in THIS years draft and then losing him just before. Now that’s something to freak out about…

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    I like how he asks the question himself, “Dirk or PP?” and then refuses to answer, lol. “Good question…”

  • Gilles Vaudois

    One thing is, yes, we can still see how long and athletic Dirk is. He just had a couple of dunks in the Finals, going right around his defender and actually dunking easily, with just a few step and a bounce. He’s blowing past people. Unbelievable. Like the game-winning layups he had over Chris Bosh and then Udonis Haslem, who was supposed to put the clamps on him. The guy is awesome, and still getting slept on a little bit.

  • Ka

    Eh, sir charles has the better finding dirk story.