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Dirk Nowitzki Ends His Career Posted by on Apr 16, 2019 in Culture, Language, Sports

Dirk Nowitzki – an established name in the world of basketball. On April 9, he suddenly announced the end of his basketball Karriere (career). Read all about this German Wunderkind (prodigy) in this post, and learn some German along the way.

Der Beste Aller Zeiten

21 Jahre lang hat Dirk Nowitzki die Basketballplätze der Welt unsicher gemacht.

(For 21 years, Dirk Nowitzki dominated the world’s basketball courts.)

With his staggering height of 2.13m (a full 7 feet), he naturally had potential to be a star in the sport. Born in 1978 in the beautiful town of Würzburg to a family of basketball players, he grew up in the right environment. Both his Mutter (mother) Helga and his Schwester (sister) Silke were Basketballnationalspielerinnen (national basketball players). His Vater (father) Jörg-Werner was also a prominent figure in a sport that requires good hands: Handball (handball).

However, Dirk’s fascination started not with basketball, but with other sports: Turnen (gymnastics), Tennis (tennis) and Handball. Only at age 13, he discovered basketball for himself. In 1995, at age 17, he was then discovered by Holger Geschwindner. He would become his mentor and trainer during his entire Karriere. Holger convinced Dirk to fully focus on basketball from then on.

He had successful years in the German Ligen (leagues), where he was awarded the unofficial title Wertvollster Spieler der Relegation zur Basketball-Bundesliga 1998 (Most Valuable Player of the relegation to the Federal Basketball League 1998) by the basketball magazine Basket.

Also participating in international events, he was at the alljährlichen (annual) Nike Hoop Summit in San Antonio, Texas – USA vs. The World. The 2019 edition was held just four days ago, actually. See some of the highlights here:

On March 29, 1998, Dirk Nowitzki showed a Glanzleistung (brilliant performance). It attracted the attention of many scouts in the United States. In the NBA draft of 1998, the Milwaukee Bucks got Nowitzki on their team, before transferring him to the Dallas Mavericks. It made him the first German player to be immediately transferred from Europe to the NBA.

From there, he quickly became one of the topscorers of the Dallas Mavericks.

And in 2011, he became the Meister der Liga (Champion of the League) with the Mavericks. Also with the German Nationalmannschaft (National Team), he is successful, becoming the Most Valuable Player (MVP) multiple times.

But what made Dirk Nowitzki to the Dirkules?

Der Wurf

Dirk Nowitzki and his throw (Image by Keith Allison at under license CC BY SA 2.0)

The thing that distinguished Dirk was his Wurf (throw). He popularised the one-legged fade-away, a technique where he backs off the defender one step and shoots the ball at the hoop.

What makes this move difficult is to have the precise control and reverse direction in a very quick move. It made Nowitzki who he was in the league.

What do you think of Nowitzki? How do you feel about him ending his career? Let me know in the comments below!

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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.