Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban believes Dirk Nowitzki is a true leader who shows it with hard work.
At 39, Dirk Nowitzki is one of the oldest players in the NBA right now, but he still remains very effective on the court. Last season, despite playing fewer minutes at 26 per game, he was still able to average 14 points and 6.5 rebounds. This may not seem impressive, but Nowitzki was 38 years old and it was his 19th season in the league.
Now that he is one year older and a step slower, what can he offer the Dallas Mavericks, whose roster is getting younger and more athletic? According to Mark Cuban, Nowitzki gives the team leadership.
Speaking to Dime Magazine’s Oliver Maroney, Cuban said that Nowitzki is a true leader who leads by example. Cuban added that the forward is a hard worker who is always the first one in the gym and the last one out:
I took an hour long yoga class with Dirk at 9AM this morning. 3 hours later? He just finished his workout. Every one on this team sees how hard he works and how important it is to him. That’s what true leadership is. We have been working together for 19 years. It always amazes me how hard he works. First in, last out.
In the 19 years that Nowitzki has played in the league, he has accomplished many things. He is a champion, an MVP and a 13-time All-Star. But in recent years, his team has been struggling to do well in the playoffs. Last season, they didn’t even make it into the postseason.
But Cuban says the team remains optimistic. With the re-signing of Nerlens Noel and the drafting of Dennis Smith Jr., Cuban says the team is heading into next season believing that they can win every game.
“I never make predictions, but we are going in thinking we can win every game,” Cuban told Dime.
But are Nowitzki’s leadership and a young, athletic roster enough for the Mavericks to compete in the Western Conference? We’ll have to wait and see.