Dirk Nowitzki Q & A
Posted May 16 2007 11:39AM
SECAUCUS, N.J., May 15, 2007 -- Less than two hours after ending Suns guard Steve Nash's two-year reign as the league's most valuable player and becoming the first player from Europe to capture the award, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki took a couple of minutes to chat with the one-man Race to the MVP committee.
R2MVP: Does it make it any more special to be named MVP since you are the first European-born player to receive the accolade?
Nowitzki: It is a great accomplishment but once I'm out there on the court, I don't worry about being from Europe or Germany. I'm always trying to represent my country the right way. I understand I have a lot of fans in Europe and hopefully they can cherish this moment. There have been a lot of great European players who opened the door for me and this is a tribute for them.
R2MVP: You guys had a truly remarkable season, winning 67 games, which tied for sixth most in league history. Talk a little bit about the year from a team standpoint.
Nowitzki: To think that I helped a team win 67 games is really special. We won, we had fun, we worked hard and it was a great ride. It is hard to describe winning 67 games.
R2MVP: Did losing in the first round to the Warriors put a big damper on your great regular season?
Nowitzki: Winning the MVP is a great honor not only for me but also for my teammates and the franchise. It is a little hard for me to be happy with the way the postseason went. It puts a shadow on the regular season we had. As time goes by, I'll be able to enjoy it more like when my career is over.
R2MVP: If you were voting for MVP, who would you have chose?
Nowitzki: I'm a modest guy so I would never vote for myself. I probably would have voted for Steve or maybe Kobe, especially after the show he put on after the All-Star break with all of his 40- and 50-point games. Just like with the All-Star Game, I always think there are a lot of players who deserve awards. I think I deserved it last year as much as I did this year.
R2MVP: Since the MVP is a regular-season award, do you wish it was handed out before the playoffs started?
Nowitzki: Yeah, I'd be a lot happier. I do understand it is a regular-season award to a player who had a special season. Our postseason loss was tough.
R2MVP: What did the Warriors do to give you guys problems?
Nowitzki: It was bad timing. We faced the hottest team at the wrong moment and they were riding a wave. They had to win a lot of games at the end of the season to get in and it carried over to the playoffs. We coasted at the end of the season and didn't have any big games. I think that might have hurt us. I have to give them all of the credit. They exploited our weaknessess. I'm going to see what we did wrong, see what I need to do to get better and try to improve for next season.
R2MVP: You and Nash are good friends. How cool is it that you guys are arguably the top two players in the NBA and that you have captured the last three MVPs?
Nowitzki: That is definitely special. Once we first got to Dallas, nobody thought we could even be role players. We worked hard together. We'd come back to the gym to shoot, play one-on-one, play Horse and lift weights. We were always working on our game together. We both wanted to take the Mavs organization to another level. It really was a fun ride and I'm lucky to have been around him and to have met him. I'm proud to be in the same category as him. He's really special and I'm glad with everything he's accomplished with the Suns.