Dirk Nowitzki's extraordinary career with the Dallas Mavericks is closer to the end than the beginning. He's nearing the victory-lap stage. And now he's even got his own documentary.
Much of Dirk's long, strange and prolific journey falls under the spotlight in the new documentary Nowitzki: The Perfect Shot, produced by filmmakers from his native Germany. The film had its North American premiere at the Dallas International Film Festival in April, and it opens in theaters Friday.
Nowitzki comes off as a thoughtful guy with interests that transcend basketball. So when we caught up with him during a preview screening at the Magnolia we were as interested in his cultural tastes as his surefire Hall of Famecareer. Here are some excerpts from our conversation.
What kind of movies have you been watching?
I don't go to the movie theater as much as I should. The last movie I went to see in the theater was Django Unchained. I took wifey [Jessica Olsson] to a late night show. I really enjoyed it.
But I'm more of a home movie guy. I usually wait until it's out on DVD. The other day wifey was busy doing something, and the babies were already in bed. I hadn't seen Captain Phillips, and I really, really liked it. I watched American Sniper. I really liked the story, and I had forgotten that he got killed. I watched Milk, with Sean Penn as the gay rights guy, and I really liked that. I didn't see it when it came out, but I remembered Sean Penn won the Oscar for that so I went back and watched it.
Word is you're a big hip-hop fan.
I'm really into '90s hip-hop. When I was 15, 16, that's all I listened to - Tupac, Biggie, Wu-Tang Clan, EPMD, Lords of the Underground. There was a little bit of everything. We got MTV in Germany then, and every Saturday night they would show Yo! MTV Raps, with Ed Lover and Dr. Dre. That was my favorite show for a long time. The guys make fun of me sometimes when someone puts on a '90s hip-hop station and I know every song.
When I first got here my English was really bad and I would bust out a couple of verses that I had memorized and the guys would crack up laughing. In my bad accent I would bust out some Jeru the Damaja or something crazy like that.
What do you love about Dallas?
I've been here almost as long as I was in Germany. It's part of my home now, and part of my history. It was a fit from the beginning. The basketball team had a tough time in the '90s, and the fans just embraced me from the start, even though the first year was rough. They wanted me to succeed. Then I got more comfortable and met more people and got to really like it. My wife has been here 10 years. We'll definitely keep a home here even after my career is done.
The city has changed a lot. When I first got here I lived in the Gables complex, but the West Village wasn't even here yet. It was just a little park where [former teammate] Hubert Davis' dog used to pee.
You're 37. What's your plan for when you stop playing?
I figure I'll do family for a year or two, just be there every day and drive the kids to school when I want to and take vacation when I want to. But eventually that's going to get boring. You still have over half of your life to live.
I really think I'm going to stick around basketball. It's given me so much. It's the one thing I really know a lot about. I can give some of my experiences to younger guys. Mark [Cuban] has always said the door is open for me to come back and do something for the Mavs. I don't think I can completely stay away from basketball. I still sit at home and watch NBA League Pass all the time.