In the 1990’s, Dallas was a basketball wasteland. Along came Dirk Nowitzki, a towering Würzburg, Germany native with a cool efficiency and the ability to make shots from seemingly impossible angles. In the years thereafter, Nowitzki would spend his entire 21-season NBA career with the Dallas Mavericks, the longest tenure of any one player with one team in the league’s history, and lead them to their first and only NBA championship, while being named a 14-time All-Star, a 12-time All-NBA Team member, and the first European player to receive the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award.
Zac Crain, award-winning journalist for D Magazine who moved to Dallas the same year that Nowitzki began his career in the city, memorializes Nowitzki’s career through a lyric essay reminiscent of Hanif Abdurraqib’s Go Ahead in the Rain that mixes the author’s story with the basketball legend’s, charting the highs and lows (and mostly highs) of the Mavs’ all-time statistical leader’s career. By paying homage to Dallas’ star basketball player, author Zac Crain connects the Mavs’ success with the growth of the city itself, and what the sport means to Dallas’ now basketball-obsessed citizens.