Dirk Nowitkzi: ‘I Feel Ashamed When the Entire Focus Is on Me’

In a wide-ranging, and very candid interview with German media outlet Spiegel Online, Dirk Nowitzi opens up about a number of subjects, including his aversion to fame: “SPIEGEL: You are now a German-American idol. Nowitzki: ‘To be honest, I slowly have the feeling that I’m not cut out for such moments.’ SPIEGEL: What do you mean? Nowitzki: ‘Well, at the very least I don’t behave terribly competently. I feel ashamed when the entire focus is on me. I think people can see that. In public appearances, I am stiff as a board.’ SPIEGEL: You were chosen as the most valuable player of the finals. The fans see you as the player who led the Dallas Mavericks to the title. Does the sudden affection of American fans make you uncomfortable? Nowitzki: ‘I don’t think that I played all that exceptionally in the finals. If we hadn’t played so well together as a team, it would have been disastrous. When the whistle blew to end the sixth and decisive game, blood rushed to my head. Without even thinking about what I was doing, I ran toward the locker room.’ SPIEGEL: The game was still going on when you fled. There were still a couple of seconds on the clock. Nowitzki: ‘I only know that many of our PR people ran after me. They yelled: ‘Stay here. You can’t do that. The trophy is going to be presented.’ I said: ‘I don’t want it.’ I got into the shower, pressed my face into a towel and began to cry. Then I heard them yelling again. ‘Dirk!’ I said: ‘They should give it to someone else.’ Not exactly worthy of a champion, is it?’ SPIEGEL: After you calmed down, you received the trophy as a team captain should. Nowitzki: ‘Yes, thank God. It was close.”