Note: This interview took place during Media Day for the 2009 All-Star Game.
Duane From NJ: Who do you think will win MVP?
Dirk Nowitzki: Well it’s tough, I mean Kobe and LeBron obviously are front-runners, both are probably the two best players in the world right now too, the way they can take over games, the way they make their teammates better, the way they close out games in the fourth quarter. They’re both fun to watch and great superstars. So they both deserve it. Kobe won it last year, so maybe this is LeBron’s time.
DNJ: Are there any teams in the league that you make a point of watching whenever possible?
Dirk: I usually like watching West Coast basketball. So it’s Golden State one night, the Lakers the next, then Portland, etc. They’re all fun to watch over there.
DNJ: What was the best part of the 2009 All-Star Game for you?
Dirk: The greatest part was to represent the Mavericks; they've been a great franchise for a long time now, so for me to represent them is the biggest honor of all. Obviously some events get a little old after awhile. But I think that the events Saturday night, the game Sunday, those are always the greatest. It’s an honor to be with the guys in the locker room, enjoy the festivities, and hopefully have a good game. That never gets old.
DNJ: With more than a season's worth of games under your belt, can you re-evaluate the impact of the Jason Kidd trade?
Dirk: Kidd has been great. He’s been phenomenal. His defense, his rebounds, his quickness, his steals... and you already know about his passing. He fills the stats sheet, and then does all the things that don’t show up on the stats sheets. We couldn’t ask more of him.
DNJ: Are the Lakers the favorites to come out of the West this year?
Dirk: I think so. I think if you look at the standings, the Lakers are just stepping on everybody else. And they've won in
DNJ: Can you weigh the impact of the trade that brought Chauncey Billups to the Denver Nuggets?
Dirk: I think he’s been a great influence on and off the floor for the Nuggets. He's provided leadership for them, he gives them a defensive presence. And he plays such a savvy offensive game. He takes shots when he has to, he knows when to pass, he’s just…that’s what a great point guard does. He’s been a great leader for that team. That’s why they’re playing so well.
DNJ: Any idea why Allen Iverson's impact with the Detroit Pistons hasn't been similar to Chauncey's with the Nuggets?
Dirk: You know, the Pistons, they have a tough set up as a team [NOTE: Interview took place before Iverson went down for the season due to injury]. They don't know who to bring off the bench… maybe the players are not all that satisfied with their roles, it’s tough to see from afar. But they certainly have all the talent they need. If they all play hard together and play well I think they’re still a tough team to beat.