Dallas Mavericks superstar, Dirk Nowitzki, has always been undeniably unique. No other 7-footer in history has ever had the ability to shoot as efficiently and effortlessly as he does. No other European player has ever been as big a focal point of his NBA team as Nowitzki has been for the Mavs. And, most importantly, no other music lover in professional hoops has ever publicly come out and admitted that he listens to David Hasselhoff.
As it turns out, the big German’s one-of-a-kind nature stems, in large part, from his unorthodox game-day training sessions with his equally enigmatic trainer, Holger Geschwindner.
New Jersey Star-Ledger reporter, Dave D’Alessandro, had the opportunity to get a bit of insight on these workouts, and here is how he described them:
“And then, it just got crazy,” said Bob Salmi (of ESPN), whose pals rolled cameras and captured it from every angle. “It was a 50-minute workout, and one of the most bizarre things I ever saw in basketball.”
• A pirouette at the foul line, spinning 360 degrees off one shoulder and shooting; then reversing the spin and shooting. You get dizzy just watching it.
• One-footed jumpers — both right and left, both with leg extended and knee bent — from every mid-range angle, with or without glass. All of it is the kind of up-the-ladder stuff you pull out to finish a game of H-O-R-S-E.
• Something we’ll call the Groucho Marx: He’d take two long strides while still in a crouch, pick up a rolling ball, then shoot. Going both ways.
• The Eiffel Tower: Dirk spreads his legs as far as they can go (say, 2½ feet beyond his shoulder width), reach over to touch a foot with both hands, and then catch-and-shoot from that very awkward, open position. This is the one that makes every male shield his eyes.
As strange as some of these things sound, it would hardly be shocking to see other players begin to model certain aspects of their practices after what Dirk does. If the ex-MVP is able to capture his first title in the next few weeks, especially, expect to see half of the NBA doing the Groucho Marx by September.