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#pounditFriday, February 23, 2024

Dirk Nowitzki had hilarious case of mistaken identity by fan

Dirk Nowitzki smiling

Nov 22, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; Former Dallas Mavericks player Dirk Nowitzki smiles to the crowd during the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It is pretty hard to mistake 7-foot Basketball Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki for someone else, but one fan apparently managed to pull it off this week.

The Dallas Mavericks great Nowitzki shared a funny story to his X page on Saturday about how a fan at a restaurant confused him for another former NBA big man.

“Walked into a restaurant yesterday and guy comes up and says, ‘Aren’t you Rik Smits?’ Dirk wrote. “Not quite but I appreciated his hoops knowledge…”

That actually isn’t the worst mistake in the world to make by the fan. Like Nowitzki, Smits is a European former NBA star who is ridiculously tall (7-foot-4) and played his whole career with one team (the Indiana Pacers). On top of that, Smits was just in the news recently for his viral moment with a fellow Pacers big man.

Granted, Nowitzki is far younger (45 to Smits’ 57) and is of German (not Dutch) descent. Still, this kind of thing tends to happen to NBA players, even ones who are still very much active.


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