The NBA has been largely dominated by American players over the years, but a few imports have managed to make it to the big league. One person who stands out in this respect is Dirk Nowitzki. The German player entered the NBA in 1998 and has since established himself as one of the best power forward in the history of the league. In his 21-year glorious career, Nowitzki has won several titles, including NBA championships. He has also set and broken several records. Let’s take a look at his great performances and take a look at his life off the pitch while the German star has had an illustrious career.
His Early Years in Germany and Journey to the NBA
Dirk Nowitzki was born on 19 June 1978 in Würzburg, West Germany. He comes from a family of athletes and surprisingly tried his hand at sports at an early age. His energy was initially focused on handball and tennis, but he soon dropped both after some of his peers ridiculed him for his enormous size. This rejection turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Nowitzki turned to basketball. He joined his local club DJK Würzburg and refined his skills under the supervision of former German basketball national player Holger Geschwindner. He then advanced to the main team and made his professional debut in 1994.
Dirk Nowitzki spent four years in Germany (1994-1998), during which he helped his team to advance to the upper league. He then participated in the 1998 Nike Hoops Summit and impressed the scouts with his statistics. These exploits attracted the attention of many European and NBA teams, but Nowitzki chose to play on the world’s biggest basketball stage. He signed up for the 1998 NBA Draft and was voted 9th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks then immediately moved him to the Dallas Mavericks, where he would spend his entire NBA career.
The Highpoints of his Professional Career
The following are some of Dirk Nowitzki’s incredible successes in the NBA. He won the NBA Championships in 2011 and was named the most valuable player in the NBA finals the same year. The German star also collected awards in the leagues MVP (1x), NBA All-Star (14x), All-NBA first team (4x), All-NBA second team (5x) and All-NBA third team (3x). Dirk Nowitzki is currently ranked 6th for goals of all time, 7th for defensive setbacks of all time and 2nd for free throwing in the NBA finals of all time. He has the third-longest series ever for consecutive free throws with a total of 82 consecutive free throws in the regular season. He is also the foreign-born player with the most goals in NBA history.
Nowitzki has at least 30,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists, 1,000 steals, and 1,000 blocks, making him one of the only 3 players in the history of the NBA with this performance. The power forward is also a living legend of the Dallas Mavericks. He holds the record for the highest number of games, points, rebounds, three-point field goals and free throws in the history of the franchise. When it comes to the national stage, Nowitzki has also performed incredibly well for his country. He led the German national team to gold at EuroBasket in 2001, bronze at the FIBA World Championship in 2002 and silver at EuroBasket in 2005. Also, the Würzburg native is the leading scorer in the history of the German national basketball team (3045) and the second-best scorer in the history of EuroBasket (1052 points).
His Interracial Marriage
The legend of the Mavericks established blissful and enviable family life with his wife, Jessica Olsson, a Swedish national who comes from a family of five. Her father is Swedish, while her mother is Kenyan. She also has two younger brothers, Marcus and Martin, who are both professional footballers. They have played for various English teams, including Derby County, Blackburn Rovers, Norwich City, and Swansea City. The twins have also represented the Swedish national team. As far as their profession is concerned, Olsson is a professional art dealer. She has worked in various art galleries and is now the Deputy Director of the Goss Michael Foundation, a non-profit art gallery in Dallas, Texas.
So how did Nowitzki meet his wife? Well, legend has it that the lovebirds first met at a charity event in Dallas in February 2010, after which they met for a date and discovered that they had similar interests in art, sports, family, and children. Nowitzki was also overwhelmed by Olsson’s beauty and they started a relationship. The couple had been together for almost two years, during which time they got engaged. Later they tied the bond of marriage in 2012. Their wedding was a complex affair as they held traditional wedding ceremonies in both Kenya and Germany. Nowitzki and Olsson also held a white wedding in the Caribbean before formalizing their union in a ceremony by a judge in Dallas on July 20, 2012.
Ever since Nowitzki and his wife entered into the covenant of marriage, a stable relationship has existed. Both have supported each other in their career. They also work together in the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, a charitable foundation that works for the welfare, health, and education of children. Nowitzki and his wife have also taken in three children, namely their daughter Malaika (born July 2013) and sons Max (born March 2015) and Morris (born November 2016). The couple raises their children trilingually – Swedish, German and English. They also raise them in a multicultural environment; they often take them with them to Kenya and Germany to come into contact with their heritage.
Nowitzki and his wife have revealed that they do this in the hope that their children will be educated and abandoned. In the meantime, the Nowitzkis have found their home in an 11,000 square meter mansion in the Preston Hollow district of Dallas. Their illustrious neighbors include the owner of the Mavericks, Mark Cuban, former American President George W. Bush and golf star Jordan Spieth.
Raising Multicultural Children
Since tying the knot, Nowitzki and his wife have enjoyed a stable union. They have both supported each other’s careers. They also work together on the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, a non-profit that promotes children’s wellbeing, health, and education. Nowitzki and his wife have also welcomed three kids namely daughter, Malaika (b. July 2013) and sons, Max (b. March 2015) and Morris (b. November 2016). The couple is raising their kids to be trilingual – Swedish, German and English. They are also raising them in a multicultural environment; they often take them to visit Kenya and Germany so that they would be in touch with their heritage.
Nowitzki and his wife have revealed that they do these in the hopes that their kids would be enlightened and exposed. Meanwhile, The Nowitzkis presently make their home in an 11,000 square feet mansion located in Preston Hollow Neighbourhood, Dallas. Their illustrious neighbors include the likes of Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, former American president, George W. Bush and golf star, Jordan Spieth.