Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki once had something to say to NBA star Kevin Garnett.
During a matchup between Nowitzki’s Mavericks and Garnett’s Minnesota Timberwolves, Garnett fell to the ground. Nowitzki didn’t hesitate to give him an earful.
“Nowitzki’s first real rivalry was against Kevin Garnett,” wrote Tim Cato of The Athletic. “He didn’t like the way Nowitzki talked, the phrases he’d say on the court, and Nowitzki didn’t like Garnett either. It wasn’t until Nowitzki began talking back to Garnett that they began developing mutual, if begrudging, respect.
“[Dwayne] Wilson often talked trash to opponents from the bench. It was a moment when Nowitzki stole one of his favorite lines that made him realize Nowitzki was growing up. In a game against Minnesota, Garnett fell down and Nowitzki, without hesitation, yelled, ‘Get your a– up, we ain’t through kicking your a–.'”
It’s certainly an amusing story about two of the best players from that era. Today, of course, both Nowitzki and Garnett are retired from the NBA.
Nowitzki finished his career with a long list of accolades. He earned 14 All-Star selections, one MVP award and one NBA title.
He posted career averages of 20.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 47.1 percent from the field and 38.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Garnett, on the other hand, accomplished a lot himself. He made 15 All-Star teams, won one MVP award and also captured an NBA title.
He averaged a double-double for his career, as he posted averages of 17.8 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. Today, Garnett is a Hall of Famer.