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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Dirk Nowitzki: Today’s NBA more focused on money, winning than loyalty

Dirk Nowitzki definitely feels some generational disconnect with this current wave of NBA stars.

In an appearance Wednesday on SiriusXM NBA Radio, the Dallas Mavericks icon commented on the shift away from loyalty in today’s league.

“I think I’m old-school,” said Nowitzki. “Some of these guys that are now stars are obviously younger and the business has changed a bit … I understand, the new NBA is a little different. It’s about making money, it’s about winning, and not as much about being loyal anymore.”

The 39-year-old Nowitzki is obviously coming from a strong position — he has spent his entire 19-year career with the Mavs since being drafted by them in 1998. Nowitzki also repeatedly took paycuts for Dallas, leaving tens of millions of dollars on the table over the years, to keep them as competitive as possible.

The Big German’s sacrifices ultimately paid off with a championship ring in 2011, but today’s stars may not be quite as lucky, especially in an increasingly top-heavy NBA. Instead what they now have is the opportunity to chase bigger salaries, flock for greener pastures, heck, create their own superteams even, and they would be remiss not to maximize it. But what that means is the era of the one-team superstar (a la Dirk, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, etc.) is all but over, and that probably makes Nowitzki feel even older than he already does.

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