Dirk Nowitzki Breaks Down Why He’s a ‘Huge Fan’ of Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant hasn't encountered many shortages during his 16-plus-year career.

He's seen both individual (15 All-Star Game selections, 2007-08 NBA MVP) and team (five championships) successes. His body has afforded him a clean bill of health, missing more than 15 games in just three seasons.

But if there was one thing he's missed in his career, it would have to be fan support. 

Sure, there are a number of Bryant supporters around the league, passionate as any player's fanbase can get.

But he's largely held a love-hate relationship with basketball fans over the league.

After speaking with Grantland.com's Zach Lowe recently, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki showed he's clearly on the "love" side of that debate.

Lowe prodded the Dallas shot-maker for his favorite shots around the league. Nowitzki used the platform to dive into a gushing adoration of Bryant even "Mamba" haters would have to appreciate.

"I was always a huge fan of Kobe," Nowitzki said. "When I get home, at like 11 p.m., I know the fourth quarter will be just starting in L.A., and I'll sit down and watch him basically will his team to win with some incredible shots."

It clearly sounds as if Nowitzki has kept close tabs on his conference rivals. While Bryant hasn't willed the 25-28 Lakers to as many wins as he'd like, he's done everything in his power to give Laker fans as much success as he can generate.


He reinvented himself midseason from an extraordinary scorer to the Lakers' best distributor (eight or more assists in eight of his last 11 games), seemingly ceding his chance at adding a third scoring title to his historically impressive resume. He's drawn the toughest defensive perimeter assignment on the team and still found a way to crash the glass (seven-plus rebounds in seven games over that same stretch).

But Nowitzki (career 22.7 points per game) has...

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