The Day An 18-Year Old Dirk Nowitzki Gave Scottie Pippen 52 Points, As Told By Charles BarkleyBasketball, Ed The Sports Fan — By Eddie Maisonet, III on April 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm
“I have to go to the army.” — Dirk Nowitzki, age 18
Its the gift and the curse of living in the day and age where Youtube, camera phones and TMZ exist. Its a gift because we get to see so much, so fast by just stroking a few keys on the keyboard or just keeping your eyes peeled to Facebook/Twitter. Many times its inescapable, and sometimes you see things you wish you hadn’t seen.
This is not one of those moments.
Per Patrick Cassidy of Dime Magazine, he tells a tale of trying to acquire footage of a barely legal Dirk Werner Nowitzki giving arguably the greatest perimeter defender of all-time buckets in Scottie Pippen, and ultimately finding video of Charles Barkley preaching the gospel of a young Dirk:
I was borderline obsessed with finding what I considered to be the Holy Grail of basketball footage: video of an 18-year old then-unknown-to-American basketball named Dirk Nowitzki lighting up an NBA all-star team on an exhibition tour in Europe back in 1997. And not just any NBA all-star team; this one featured Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Charles Barkley, among others. Keep in mind that this was well over 10 years ago, so there was no YouTube and I was trying to work vague contacts in Germany to send me copies of the VHS tapes. It didn’t go well. So you can imagine how much I loved seeing this video that we found last night of Barkley at a charity baseball game in Texas last summer telling the story of the Nowitzki “discovery” – and the 52 points he put on the U.S. – to a locker room that includes Dirk.
What follows is a soliloquy of shit-talk, SEC recruiting strategies and wise advice from a man who lived “that” life and encouraged Dirk not to go join the army.
I would encourage you all to click the DimeMag link to see about 30 seconds of Dirk getting a jumper off against the American all-star team. Its only one shot, but its proof that this actually happened.
Sidenote: Charles Barkley speaking on the shenanigans and tomfoolery that went on with SMU back in the 80’s and how folks get down in the SEC made me cringe and chuckle simultaneously. Especially when Chuck dropped this gem of a quote about the great Cam Newton:
“Everyone wants to give us (Auburn) a hard time for giving $200,000 to Cam Newton….that’s called a good damn investment! We only got him for 200 grand? That’s a good deal! I wish my accountants could do something like that!”
All hail the recruiter that is Charles Wade Barkley, and could you imagine if Chuck could’ve got Dirk down to Auburn? Do you remember the Chris Porter era at Auburn? Could’ve brought a national title to War Eagle….scary.