The Sixth Man (cont.)
Through the eyes of Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavericks star returns every summer to his hometown of Wurzburg, Germany, where he stays with his sister, Silke, and his parents. "It was four months at home this summer," he said. "I left to go home pretty quick after we lost in the first round, so that makes the summer long.
"My mom babies me when I'm home. She makes me three meals a day, especially when I start working out with Holger [Geschwindner, his longtime manager]. During the season they come usually once to Dallas, around Christmas, and other than that I don't see them much. So it's good times during the summer."
At home. 7-foot Nowitzki sleeps in the same bedroom -- the same bed -- as when he was a boy. "We had one made a long time ago," he said. "When I really started to grow and started to get over 6-7, I needed a big bed."
He goes home knowing he'll receive grief after speaking English all season. "When I come back home I'm saying, 'What's the German word, what's the German word ...' and my mom is killing me for it," he said. "It takes me a couple weeks, but then I'm right back in it."
Nowitzki isn't sure where he'll live after he retires. He may continue to move back and forth between Germany and Texas. "When I went through the off-the-court drama two years ago," he said of his relationship with Cristal Taylor, who had used a variety of aliases as a fugitive since 2001, "the family was the first thing that was there for me."
But he would go onto form close relationships in Dallas with Steve Nash and Michael Finley. "Fin was one of the best pros of all time, the way he handled himself on and off the floor," said Nowitzki. "If you're not comfortable off the floor, it's tough to show your best on the floor. Once I was more comfortable off the floor in Dallas was when I started to play better.
"I love both places -- I love going home. but I also love being in Dallas. So I'm very lucky."
The biggest stars. One way of rating star power is in terms of road attendance. Which players bring in the biggest ticket sales? Here are the leaders in road attendance this season, including the players most responsible for their team's popularity.
1. Heat (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh) 19,280
2. Lakers (Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol) 18,962
3. Celtics (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo (and former All-Star Shaquille O'Neal) 18,923
4. Bulls (Derrick Rose) 18,222
5. Knicks (Amar'e Stoudemire) 17,800
6. Suns (Steve Nash, though he was not selected as an All-Star) 17,655
7. Thunder (Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook) 17,465
8. Clippers (Blake Griffin) 17,329
9. Kings (Tyreke Evans and rookie DeMarcus Cousins not selected as All-Stars) 17,306
10. Warriors (Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry not selected as All-Stars) 17,298
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