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Friday, February 24th, 2012 at 10:25 am  |  26 responses

Dirk Nowitzki Lost Some Motivation After Winning Championship


Dirk Nowitzki came into the season out of shape, as he had spent the lockout partying and doing everything but playing basketball. Dirk admits that after finally winning his first NBA title, he had lost some of the motivation and fire needed to play at a high level. From SI: “When you devote your career to winning the final game, what do you do after it’s been won? At long last Dirk Nowitzki didn’t know what he was in for. ‘I didn’t know what to expect,’ he said. ‘I know one thing changed, and that was my motivation was gone for a little bit,’ Nowitzki went on. ‘And I really had to fight to get it back and get the fun back.’ [...] Within weeks of winning the NBA title, he was back in the gym, training for the European Championship in hopes of qualifying for another Olympics. It was too much. He was overwhelmed. ‘Now I reached both goals, and it was just hard in the beginning,’ he said. ‘The Euros came too quick, right after the [NBA] championship. I only had, like, a month off. I needed more time to get away and enjoy the championship. If I would have had a couple months off to enjoy it, party, get everything out of the way, then start slowly back up — that would have been the way to go. But I decided to play, to try my best, and we didn’t qualify, unfortunately.’ [...] What is he supposed to do next? He looks at the ring and remembers, yes, of course, I’m supposed to win another one of those. ‘Just do it again,’ he said. ‘I would love to do it again, but it’s going to be hard.’”

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  • LA Huey

    I suspected as much. He might be put on blast for his honesty but I appreciate how candid he was about it.

  • BlackStar

    And this is why much respect should be given to teams that repeat and three-peat. Once you get that first taste of success, it’s easy to get complacent. Hopefully he’ll get that fire back … But I think OKC has their number, so that repeat isn’t happening.

  • Hulahula

    At last he has a ring+future hall of famer.my favorite pf

  • bike

    It really looks like Miami has this one wrapped up this year. Just watching them play has to drain the gas out of a lot of team’s tanks.

  • Paul H

    He Is averaging 25 and 9 over his last ten games. Needless to say the LAST thing the rest of the west wants come playoff time Is a completely motivated Dirk.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    I just can’t see anyone beating the Heat in the Playoffs. The Heat will surely win it all…no?

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

    he has been justifying his all star sellection latley, but really, he needed a few more moths to party?

  • Rainman

    Still the Best PF in the L to me.

  • Deezy

    Imagine how mike and scottie felt after the 92 season, then the olympics, then coming back for 93. Sounds weak

  • Raseven7

    This is what separates Kobe from everyone else that greed for winning just like mike

  • Jono

    When you win a ring and dominate in the playoffs like he did, you’re allowed to make these statements for the next year.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Greed for shooting is what separates Kobe from everyone else.

  • Paul H

    @Jono. I agree mate. Everyone keeps saying they’re refraining from really judging the heat till the playoffs. The man who blistered the playoffs last year will be ready then. No doubt In my mind.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    @ Jono, “When you win a ring and dominate in the playoffs like he did AND YOUR NAME IS NOT LEBRON JAMES, you’re allowed to make these statements for the next year”

    There, I fixed it.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Only dirk could make this statement.

  • Sam

    It’s not like he’s saying he quit on his team. Dirk upped his intensity level to an all time high during the 2011 playoff run and of course there had to be a period of let-down somewhere. You can’t go HAM all the time.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 alex80

    He should be a little more greedy like Mike, Phil,Shaq,Hakeem,Tim,Manu

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    When I’m feeling unmotivated, I just listen to some david hassellhoff.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    “Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today”.
    - James Dean

  • doyouwantmore

    Very smart. The Mavericks are working hard to make sure that there’s no target on their back. I have a feeling Dirk will be back in top form for the playoffs. OKC will probably still come out ahead, but I think the Mavericks are allowing this perception to spread on purpose.

  • bike

    If he is saying ‘I’m supposed to win another one of those’, that doesn’t sound like someone that’s going to get motivated any time soon. I’ll bet Cuban dropped a steamer in his drawers when he heard Dirk say this.

  • robb

    what a conformist

  • sophmore

    i understand what he is saying his goal was to win one championship meaning he felt it would take longer
    its like if you wanted to be the best player in your school once you are you feel as if you dont have to try anymore

  • http://obsessioncollection.wordpress.com grgeblck

    he sounded just like a loser more than a winner. i think he just broke many fans’ hearts. damn, my respect for him has decreased.

  • Phil Jackson

    What separates Kobe from Dirk is Kobe hasn’t, and could have never done what Dirk has done in his playoff career, especially what he did last year. It’s easy to coat tail your way to some rings, but try being the one wearing the coat with the tails. The only Lakers teams that ever rode Kobe’s coat tails were the ones that missed the playoffs and got bounced by a non-defensive Suns team, twice! The other one’s succeeded because of Shaq and Gasol. (As if I need to remind anyone.) Dirk has never had anything close to a Shaq or Gasol.

    Dirk’s first year in the playoffs = 4 30+ point elimination game performances.
    Kobe’s first year in the playoffs = 4 consecutive clutch bricks.

  • http://averysmith.org Avery Smith

    Kobe wasn’t riding coat tails. C’mon that’s just crazy. Did he do it alone? No. But he did have a lot to do with ALL of those championships. Anyway, no in none of them did he punish like Dirk but really, whose EVER taken over the entire playoffs like Dirk did last year, except Jordan?

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