Basketball star Dirk Nowitzki is a Rafael Nadal fan
German basketball player Dirk Nowitzki spoke to the Tennis Channel regarding his passion for tennis and when asked who his favorite tennis player is, Nowitzki responded “Rafael Nadal”.
Speaking about Nadal's game, Nowitzki said “I’m a Nadal guy. In his prime, nobody has ever seen a forehand like his with that power and amount of spin, and the way he swings it over his head it is like a frikkin lasso. It is just amazing. I am a huge Nadal fan.”
He praised Djokovic as well and mentioned, “He really knows how to create from the return and go get the point from there. He doesn't have any weaknesses and his movement is incredible. He is probably one of the first to start sliding on hard courts. He's the one of the best defenders tennis has ever seen.”
Nowitzki finally praised Federer's longevity and his effortless style and commented, “He plays so smooth. He does it all with technique and rhythm and not all the power that Nadal needs to get his forehand going. I have actually met him a couple of times and Roger is a wonderful human being so that was a great honor for me.”
Dirk Nowitzki is regarded to be one of the greatest power forwards in basketball history. After playing for four years at DJK Wurzburg, Nowitzki was drafted to the Dallas Mavericks and has been plying his trade there since 1998. The 7ft tall German led the Mavericks to a total of 15 NBA playoffs that included 12 consecutive playoffs from 2001-2012 and another three consecutive playoffs from 2014-2016. He helped the franchise to its first final appearance in 2001 and till date, its only championship title in 2011. He’s a 13-time all-star and has been in the All-time NBA team a total of twelve times. He’s the first European player who has started in an all-star game as well as the first to receive an NBA MVP award. With more than 29000 regular-season points, Nowitzki is the highest-scoring foreign-born player in the history of the NBA.
He is one of only seven players in the 50-40-90 club that includes players who have had 50% shooting percentage for field goals, 40% shooting percentage for three-pointers and 90% shooting percentage for three rows during an entire NBA season. He achieved this feat during the 2007 NBA season. Being the first Maverick voted into the NBA all-star team and holds a number of the franchise’s all-time records. In international basketball, Nowitzki helped Germany to a bronze medal at the FIBA World Championships. He was also Germany’s flagbearer in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.