Dirk Nowitzki Remembers Dropping 52 Points Against NBA Legends While Still In The Army

Photo: Instagram/Dirk Nowitzki

In 1997, an 18-year-old Dirk Nowitzki stunned the basketball world by scoring 52 points against NBA stars Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Charles Barkley. The game was part of Nike's "Hoop Heroes Tour," where top NBA players faced off against local talent in Germany.

At the time, Dirk was fulfilling his mandatory military service in Germany. In a recent interview with Shaquille O'Neal on "The Big Podcast," Nowitzki shared his memories of that remarkable game. "It was mandatory in Germany for a while. When that team came over to Germany, I was actually in the Army. I did two months of regular basic training, which was a couple of months before those games," Dirk told Shaq.

Dirk was placed in a special sports unit within the military that allowed him to train full-time while serving. This unique experience helped shape his future career. "I could train in the morning, train in the evening, and that's really when I started being a professional. But at the time, I was still in the Army," he added.

Photo: Instagram/Dirk Nowitzki

Playing against his basketball idols was a dream come true for Nowitzki. "It was fun to compete against some of my heroes. They had a great team, and it was super fun for us and a huge honor," he said.

A year after this incredible performance, Dirk entered the NBA. The Milwaukee Bucks selected him with the ninth pick in the draft, but he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks, where he would become one of the greatest players in NBA history. Reflecting on his journey, Dirk said, "I had no idea that basically a year later, I would be in the NBA. It was something I never expected to happen like that."

Nowitzki's career includes being the NBA's sixth all-time leading scorer, a 14-time All-NBA team member, and the 2007 league MVP. His legacy continues to inspire players worldwide.

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Source: Basketball Network 


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