• Nowitzki passed up an offer to join the Lakers because of Charles Barkley
  • Nowitzki chose to stick with the Mavs even if winning more NBA titles was on the table
  • Barkley never won an NBA title with Michael Jordan dominating the league during his time

Dirk Nowitzki played only for the Dallas Mavericks since debuting in the NBA in 1998 although there were rumors about him possibly playing elsewhere.

One team that comes to mind is the Los Angeles Lakers, a team that courted the German star at some point upon the recommendation of the late Kobe Bryant.

Speaking to ESPN, the 2011 NBA Finals MVP revealed how Bryant tried to woo him into coming to Hollywood.

Nowitzki could not recall the year, but it appears this came after the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA title in 2011.

“I think this was after I won the championship and my four-year deal was done. Kobe was still doing his thing in L.A. We talked, we texted back and forth, but I told him, ‘Listen, I’m sorry, and you know how it is,’” Nowitzki said.

It would have been something had Nowitzki worn the signature Laker colors of purple and gold.

But the 42-year-old seemed content being in Dallas even if winning more NBA titles seemed daunting.

However, he explained that part of his decision to stay with the Mavericks was because of someone he looked up to. He goes by the name of Charles Barkley.

Then known as the round mound, most know that Barkley never really won an NBA title. He came close to winning one, but the problem then was Michael Jordan.

“One of my big idols is Charles Barkley. I loved him—that’s why actually in Europe I had No. 14 because he wore No. 14 in the Olympics in Barcelona. And I never have looked at him lesser because he didn’t win a championship. He just happened to run into Michael Jordan all the time,” Nowitzki explained.

Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki announced his retirement after 21 seasons in the NBA. In this picture, Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after announcing he played his last home game at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, April 9, 2019. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Regardless, make no mistake about it. Nowitzki knows it would have been special to play alongside Bryant.

Proof of that is the way he spoke when the basketball legend died in 2020 in a helicopter crash.

But the thought of leaving Dallas, a place where he was very special was too much to overcome.

Had Nowitzki and Bryant teamed up, it would have certainly been a joy to watch–not to mention possibly winning multiple NBA titles wearing the Lakers jersey.