An Incredibly Awesome Story About Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban’s Contract Negotiations

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

An Incredibly Awesome Story About Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban’s Contract Negotiations


If you are one of the few people who don’t like Dirk Nowitzki, read this story and I bet that even the last doubter will change his mind. 

Dirk Nowitzki  spent every single NBA career minute played with the Dallas Mavericks. He transformed a lottery team into one of the best teams of this milleniumn, took the franchise to the Finals (2006) for the first time in history, and eventually brought home the Mavs’ first title in 2011. Nowitzki made it clear from the start, that he didn’t have any intention of playing for another team – ever.

During his time in Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki and Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban became good friends. Whenever Dirk was a free agent, he was wating for free agency to be almost over, in order to set his salary accordingly. He sacrificed a lot of money, simply because he wanted to play with a competitive roster. 2006’s most valuable player was basically paying other players’ salaries out of his own pocket.

In 2016 though with the salary cap on the rise and Dallas’ new signings being done early, there was a lot of money to be earned for Dirk. More than he wanted, as stupid as this may sound.

Mark Cuban recalls the contract negotiations with Dirk – and they were not even close to anything we’ve heard before, in this commercially driven sports market, where money, in most cases, always comes first.


“Dirk wasn’t even in the country and people couldn’t even reach him when free agency started,” Cuban said. “I basically told him, look, you tell me the price and it actually started lower. His agent said ‘how about this much’ and we said ‘we’ll have a little more money, we’ll give you more’ and as the numbers started getting bigger and bigger, it was like ‘what about this number?’ ‘We’ll give you more.’ Finally, it was like ‘this is what we got left, take it!’

“We wanted to make it a two-year deal with a team option so that people wouldn’t speculate that he was going to retire because Dirk is the type of guy, he’s just a good guy. He would hate going city to city to city and everyone asking him if he was going to retire because he has no intention of retiring after this year and, with the team option that we have, he gave us the flexibility that said ‘if we find somebody that we can send the money to that he likes, we all like, then let’s do it and if not, let’s give the money to Dirk again which I’m fine with too.’”


Reading this in today’s sports world is almost unbelievable. The bond and trust Cuban and Dirk share is something we might never see again in the NBA. 

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