Dirk Nowitzki defines the word “loyalty”

Dirk Nowitzki has upcoming free agency around the corner and no one is questioning what prospect list of teams he will be going to. The only debate about Dirk being a free agent, is how much money will his contract be with the Dallas Mavericks.

Dirk Nowitzki was drafted in the 1998-1999 lockout season. He has spent the last 16 seasons with the Mavs. His accolades and achievements make him not only one of the greatest power forwards, but basketball players of all-time.

NBA champion (2011)
NBA Finals MVP (2011)
NBA Most Valuable Player (2007)
12× NBA All-Star (2002–2012, 2014)
4× All-NBA First Team (2005–2007, 2009)
5× All-NBA Second Team (2002–2003, 2008, 2010–2011)
3× All-NBA Third Team (2001, 2004, 2012)
50–40–90 club (2007)
NBA Three-Point Shootout champion (2006)
NBA Shooting Stars champion (2010)
Dallas Mavericks all-time leading scorer
FIBA World Cup MVP (2002)
FIBA EuroBasket MVP (2005)
6× Euroscar Award Winner (2002–2006, 2011)
5× All-Europeans Player of the Year (2005–2008, 2011)
2× FIBA Europe Player of the Year (2005, 2011)
Mister Europa Player of the Year (2005)
Silbernes Lorbeerblatt (2011)
German Sports Personality of the Year (2011)
Naismith Legacy Award (2012)
Magic Johnson Award (2014)

There has been many ups and downs during his time with the Mavs, including successful seasons but also a lot of heart aches in the playoffs. One thing is for sure, Dirk finds a way to get the job done and have a successful season with the team that drafted him.

Dirk Nowitzki defines the word “loyal”.

Loyal means “faithful to one’s oaths, commitments or obligations”.

When it comes to that word and the sports world – the lines are often blurred. Teams make money off of their players and often send them on their way when the player or his skills decline. The “what have you done for me lately” mentality tends to reign supreme.

By the same token, players put their very lives, their bodies, their health on the line for teams year after year and when things start looking shaky…losing seasons…coaching and player changes…their eyes start wandering as well to see if the grass is greener on the other side.

Don’t get me wrong, no one, certainly not no-sports-playing-me, begrudges any athlete from making all the money they can while they can.

They have every right to flex their earned empowerment and explore other options, see who they can team up with to win a title, check out the cities, living conditions, schools for the kids, the whole nine yards.

Especially when they’ve been a winner and brought titles, respect, relevance and oh yes, dollars to their respective teams and cities.

But the question is just because your CAN leave, SHOULD you leave? Are you loyal because you stay and selfish because you leave? That’s a loaded, debatable and hot-button question, and I don’t have the answer.

While Dirk and Mavs Owner Mark Cuban have yet (as of this writing) sat down to negotiate and hammer out his new contract, our own #41 is on record saying he wants to stay a Dallas Maverick and is not going anywhere. Sixteen years in the league. Same team. Same city. Staying. Loyal.

The Mavericks won the title in 2011, and then saw ALL but one of his winning teammates jettisoned to other teams less than a couple years. Nobody had a stronger case for leaving than Dirk to capture another title. Dirk disagreed, he stated that since he won the title it changed his mind about free agency and he is dedicated to the organization and city he became a man and the player he is today.

That is very rare in this new age of superstars leaving the team they started with (Lebron James, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, etc.).

Dirk wants to win and get back to the summit he once reached. There’s no question about that, but he believes he can do that with the Mavs. With the right pieces and players, and his willingness to stay around and trust the powers-that-be. Does that make him loyal?

Yes it does.

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