If you’re a fan of both the NBA 2K video game series and the Dallas Mavericks, you’ve hit the jackpot this year, as 2K will feature both Dirk Nowitzki and Luka Doncic on its ‘Legends Edition’, ‘Standard Edition’, and ‘Cross-Gen Digital Bundle’ covers, respectively.
“I'm of course very honored to be on the legends cover,” said Nowitzki. “That's a huge honor for me. Of course, with Kevin Durant and Kareem, some of the best players to have ever played this game.”
During his playing days, Nowitzki never got much recognition from the 2K franchise, at least not as much as he should have during his prime years. However, that’s not going to be the case with Mavs’ 22-year-old superstar Luka Doncic, and Nowitzki happy to see his pupil get so much spotlight early on.
“You have Luka on the real cover, so two Mavs at the same time on the cover, which is super special, of course,” said Nowitzki. “So I'm super happy, super thrilled that I could be on the cover and, you know, with Luka, who I try to help out, who I try to mentor a little bit, and so that's super special. I’m happy for him,what he's been able to achieve in just a couple years in the league and so, I'm so thrilled that it worked out that that way.”
Dirk was then asked about the evolution of today’s NBA, and how his game would fit if he was still playing in his prime now.
“I think my game would fit perfect with what we're doing now,” said Nowitzki. “With everybody spread, you know, you can pick and roll, pick and pop. There’s always three at least, sometimes four shooters, sometimes even five shooters on the court. You know the Mavericks start a line up with Porzingis at the five, so they have the entire court spread.”
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“I think it (would be) a fun time for me to play now, but you know it's just, I had my time and I played for over 20 years. So, of course, I don't want to complain. But today definitely would be a fun time for me to go out there and, you know, try to score a lot and have fun doing that.”
Indeed, prime Nowitzki would be a problem in today’s NBA with how modern day offenses operate. Nowitzki was a 38% three-point shooter for his career, but he only averages 3.4 attempts per game over his 21 seasons. Imagine how much higher he could’ve climbed up the NBA’s All-Time scoring list had he had averaged more than six three-point attempts per game like Kristaps Porzingis has done for the Mavs over the last two seasons.
Nowitzki went on to dish on who his favorite player in the league is today, including even more praise for Doncic.
“Luka is definitely up there,” said Nowitzki. “He's so special to watch because he's so fun. I think sometimes he doesn't even know what he's going to do next. I mean, I watched a playoff game this year where he dribbles up and he shoots a one-legged 3 pointer, which is unbelievable, and he makes it.”
“This kid just has a special gift to make exciting plays. I still of course love watching Kevin Durant when he’s healthy. A freak seven-foot guy who can dribble, can shoot from anywhere, can score from anywhere. So there's a lot of great players that I still love watching.”
Playing video games likely isn’t up Dirk’s alley, but perhaps he’ll pick up a controller this year and run out some fantasy lineups with his prime self, Doncic, Durant and others. Regardless, Mavs fans will cherish this year’s 2K covers, because stuff like this just simply doesn’t happy that often.