Late last night, as part of his new podcast series, The Book of Basketball 2.0, a sort of update and reboot of his giant The Book of Basketball that came out in 2009 and was an actual book, Bill Simmons took a look at the career of one Dirk Werner Nowitzki. Joining him was my friend and literal Hall of Fame basketball writer, Marc Stein, now of the New York Times. He was at the Morning News when Dirk came to town and was close enough to my guy that, as he reveals early on, NBA personnel folks actually reached out to him to figure out how to approach Dirk. Also, longtime Mavs media guy Scott Tomlin gets some shine early on.
I’ve been waiting for this episode because, back in 2009, it was close enough to the disasters in 2006 and 2007 that Simmons let it color his judgement of Dirk’s career and the whole thing kind of left a sour taste in my mouth. There is an extended footnote where he accuses Dirk of not trying to play through the knee injury that knocked him out of the 2003 Western Conference finals and I — you know what? It’s in the past now. It’s OK. Also?
I SEE YOU, BIG GERMAN. AND I HEAR PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT YOU. ON THIS PODCAST.