Dirk Nowitzki On Relationship With Dwyane Wade: “I Wouldn’t Say We’re Friends”


Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki reflected on his relationship with longtime Miami Heat rival, Dwyane Wade, during a recent interview with Marc Stein on The Saturday Stein Line.

“I wouldn’t say we’re friends,” the former NBA Most Valuable Player said. “I think there’s a mutual sense of respect for each other’s career and obviously were cordial.” Nowitzki further clarified: “There’s no bad blood, obviously, anymore. We all moved on, things were said on both sides or done that neither side liked, but that’s part of competition at the highest level.”

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Dirk Nowitzki & Dwyane Wade At A Hall Of Fame Press Conference

HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 01: (L-R) Dirk Nowitzki. Tony Parker, and Dwyane Wade look on during the 2023 Naismith Hall of Fame Press Conference at N.R.G. Stadium on April 01, 2023 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

Joining Wade and Nowitzki in the latest Hall of Fame class are Tony Parker, Gregg Popovich, Pau Gasol, and Manu Ginobili. “I’m both humbled and honored to have made it to basketball heaven,” Wade said after the class was announced.

In a separate interview with The Dallas Morning News, Nowitzki expressed his excitement to be joining the star-studded class. “The fact that I’m going in with Tony and Manu and Pau is wonderful,” Nowitzki told the outlet. “We competed internationally against each other for a long, long time, and then obviously some huge games in the NBA, so it’s kind of great how that worked.”

When asked about Wade, Nowitzki elaborated on how they’ve reached the aforementioned “cordial” state of their relationship. “We sat together with his family during one of the dinners, and we talked,” Nowitzki said. “And so I think it’s going to be great. I think there’s a lot of mutual respect there now. I know we’ve gone through some stuff in our careers, but at the end of the day not everybody you compete against at the highest level can be friends. It’s just not how it works. I think there were some things said on both sides that weren’t liked by the other side, but you know what? This is 20-something years later now, almost. So there’s really no hard feelings, and it’s gonna be a fun week with him.” The 2023 enshrinement ceremony will be held on Saturday, August 12.

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