Dirk Nowitzki takes losses pretty hard. Considering he went on a walkabout following the Mavericks’ 2007 upset by the Golden State Warriors, it’s safe to say that losing affects him in a profound way. You don’t go walk around Australia with your life/basketball coach for no reason, you know?
But this little tidbit, from an interview with the Dallas Morning News, really shows you how big of a deal it is for Dirk Nowitkzi to lose. (Read: A bigger deal than if he wins.)
On what it was like to hear people say over and over ‘I want this for Dirk’:
“It’s special, but I think why that is, people always saw much that means to me, how devastated I am after losing in the first round, that I had to travel halfway across the world just to get away. And how devastated I was after losing the Finals in ’06, so I had to go on a three-week drinking binge just to forget everything. I just think people saw how hard I take it, that my heart is in it all the way, and I do this the right way. Work so hard at it, every year try to practice in the summer and come back and do it. I just the people appreciate how hard I work, the work I put in. I just think it’s very humbling for people to be on my side and ultimately want me to get the ring, it’s great.”
Now you’re going to go on a three-week drinking binge just to have fun.
“That’s the funny thing, I am older now than I was then. I actually think we partied harder in ’06 when we lost just to forget about it than we did now. Yeah, we’ve had some good nights so far, my birthday was in there. In ’06, Jet picked me up for the party bus almost every day, and we went somewhere just to make us forget and have a good time. We ended up in Vegas after three hard weeks. This year, we’ve had a couple of good nights, but I’m 33. My body can’t recover, so you have to party one day, and the next day you have to be off. You can’t go back to back when you’re that old. Partying once in a while gets old. But I’ll definitely put in some good work when I get to Germany when I see my friends, definitely be a couple of good nights there.”
Yikes. We’ve seen how Dirk Nowitkzi has been partying since the Finals — hipster glasses, gigantic bottles of champagne, off-key versions of “We Are the Champions” all the time, and cetera — so you have to imagine that partying harder in 2006 was some serious action. I’m thinking maybe a mohawk or something.
But you have to like his dedication to celebration, promising that he’ll “put in some good work when [he gets] to Germany.” He might be an old guy who considers taking $80,000 bottles of champagne to the face to be tame, but he’s still a party animal at heart. These pictures may never be topped, but Dirk in Germany might give them a run for the money.