Dirk Nowitzki joins the Ben & Skin Show to talk tennis, his nicknames, and more

Dirk Nowitzki hopped on the Ben & Skin Show on Tuesday on 105.3 the Fan to talk about his summer, his nickname, trash-talking, and this weekend’s Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic.

Listen to the full audio below, with some transcribed quotes below.

On his offseason diet and training routine: “In the summer it’s the time to do it, to have an occasional glass of red wine or the occasional dessert here and there. Not all the time, because obviously I don’t wanna gain an unbelievable amount of weight because it’s hard to get off, especially now. When you’re a couple pounds overweight in your 20s it’s easy to get off, you work out a week, it’s gone. But as you get close to 40, that could take up to weeks. … I actually train a lot more in the gym this year, since my Achilles acted up last year. We talked to the coaches and the trainers that I was supposed to do a little more jumping, a little more moving in the gym this summer. So instead of just lifting weights and running on treadmills, this year I was working out.”

On his “Big Mummy” nickname: “He’s been calling me that for years. I don’t know why I just decided to throw that out. It was just something fun to do. I was bored there for two seconds. They gave me a two-second break there. I love that one. We love having fun, obviously. That’s part of being in the locker room, and that’s the part I think I’m gonna miss most, too, is the trash-talking every day, making fun of each other, the locker room vibe. The Big Mummy fits right in.”

On playing different positions earlier in his career: “I actually started at the 3 my first couple games because obviously I came over here probably weighing 195 soaking wet. I don’t think Nells thought I could be a 4 any time soon. And then I had to develop my body a little bit, so I actually started at the 3, but that was sometimes tough on the defensive end. You had to guard, like, Scottie Pippen and all these guys. They were a little quicker coming off the dribble and coming off screens, which I never guarded in my entire life, so that was a challenge. Gary Trent getting hurt in my second year was like a blessing in disguise. I was basically the only 4 on the roster, and I was able to play 30 minutes. My defense was weak; I was still obviously not 245, 250 yet. I was still a little lighter. But we just got away with some fronting. You know, Nellie is a genius, so we made some defensive things. I fronted a lot of the 4s and when they lobbed the ball over, there came Shawn Bradley waddling over at 7-6.”

On Dennis Smith Jr.: “I think he’s gonna be tremendous for us. I’ve been around him now just maybe a week, because most of the guys just got back in town. I’ve really been impressed. He’s been shooting it a lot better than I thought. His finishing around the rim is unbelievable, so I think we’re gonna have a lot of fun with this kid. But, with everybody who comes in the league at 19, you’ve got to be patient at times. You’ve got to give him time to learn. But he’s got that swag about him, he wants to learn, he feels like he needs to prove something, and we’re all here to help him. Hopefully he’s gonna have a great year, and hopefully he’s gonna be a long-term piece for this franchise that we can watch for a long, long time. Even after I’m gone, I can sit back and watch some Mavs games, and Dennis is doing his thing. We’d love that.”

On his tennis tournament: “I play soccer for charity, I play baseball for charity, and none of them I’m any good at. So I wanted to do something that I’m actually decent at and I can have fun with. Doing a tennis event was always a dream of mine, so last year we did it for the first time, really not knowing what to expect and who’s gonna show up and who’s gonna support, but we had a blast. We had a blast. The celebs all said if they can they’d come back. … I think we’re gonna have a fun lineup. Unfortunately my guy Ben Stiller can’t make it this year, but he hooked us up with his guy Owen Wilson, which I’m looking forward to. He’s a Dallas guy. I think we have a fun lineup again, and I’m looking forward to it.”

You can hear the Ben & Skin Show weekdays on 105.3 FM from 3-7 p.m.