Dirk Nowitzki dishes on the infamous bike pic, social media, and workouts with Kristaps Porzingis

Dirk Nowitzki is having a blast this summer.

The notoriously laid-back legend has been sharing more of his personality on Twitter as the summer has worn on. Most recently, following the trend set before him by his superstar peers, the German shared an image of one of his most intense workouts yet. (Click to see each full tweet, including the responses.)

Before that, he was politely asking the NBA not to mention how old he turned on June 19…

…and telling basketball video game creators to fix his issues quickly…

…because we all know how well (or not well) he runs…

…but it’s all funny to him.

While on a conference call ahead of Saturday’s NBA Africa Game 2017, Nowitzki reminisced about his wonderful afternoon on the bike, and then revealed his unique approach to social media.

“Oh, man, that bike was awesome,” he said. “I was in Sweden with the kids and we were doing a little biking tour, and I figured I’m gonna count that as a workout and put it on Twitter. But it was just something funny. I didn’t think it was gonna blow up like that.

“I always try to have fun on social networks. I don’t try to take myself too serious. Guys who know me, they know that I always try to have fun. I always try to enjoy my time, and that’s just something fun and the fans loved it, so that was a good time.”

Of course, not everything is all fun and games on the internet. Some people become upset by what they read, some people are rude about what they say, and others still use it to send cryptic messages to or about other people. This has become an epidemic in the NBA, starting with the Clippers’ “Emoji War of 2015,” or whatever people want to call it, and has continued today with media and fans paying extremely close attention to every word and hashtag LeBron James, Isaiah Thomas, and other prominent stars post from their phones, often while on luxurious vacations around the world.

To many, social media is a means of communication, and sometimes you’ve got to be a little less than pleasant in order to get your point across. But to Nowitzki, it’s all about having fun.

Why, specifically, is James a good example of this? Well, last weekend, it just so happened that Mavs forward Harrison Barnes got married in Rhode Island. A few of his teammates joined (Nowitzki couldn’t, as he was overseas), but also in attendance were former teammates of Barnes’, including Kyrie Irving and Steph Curry. Thousands of headlines wrote themselves the next morning when a video surfaced of Curry poking fun at James’ workout dance, all the while Irving, James’ teammate, looking on in stitches. You would’ve thought next season’s NBA Finals were about to start, given the amount of attention that funny 20-second video received. Was it a diss? Does this mean Kyrie is unhappy in Cleveland? Is Steph really a nice guy if he’s making fun of someone else like this? Is LeBron mad?

To Nowitzki, however, the medium is the message. The story isn’t about what happened. It’s only a story because we know it happened.

“I think it’s just all fun. A bunch of years ago, before all the cell phones, nobody ever would have seen it,” Nowitzki said. “It was at Harrison’s wedding. People were having fun. I think sometimes we’re over-hyping these things. We’re here to have fun in this world. I just don’t think there’s any beef there at all. I think Steph was having a good time and that was it. I just think sometimes we’re a little too serious with stuff like that.”

To be clear, this is coming from a guy who posted a picture of himself next to a river on a bicycle with a child’s seat attached to the back, so he’s on one extreme end of the spectrum, for sure. But still: The man’s got a point.

While in South Africa, Nowitzki’s been working out with Mavs assistant Jamahl Mosley as well as coaches and players from other NBA teams, including Portland’s C.J. McCollum.

“We only have four baskets there, so it’s not like all the players that want to work out get their own baskets, so that’s how that came about,” Nowitzki said. “You have to share a little bit. One day, C.J. was sitting there and he was watching, and I think he was waiting for a basket, so I was like ‘hey, just come on in, we’ll shoot together.’ That’s what players do.”

Later, the pair would add Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, and, more notably, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis, who’s drawn comparisons to the German for most of his career and has gone on record saying he’s long hoped to work out with Nowitzki and his coach Holger Geschwindner.

“To me, it’s about having fun, about getting to know some of these guys,” Nowitzki said. “During the regular season, I’m a little I would say unapproachable for other teams. I don’t talk much during games. I don’t really mingle before the games, I don’t really see anybody after games. It’s all business for me.

“So I think stuff like this or stuff like All-Star Games, where I get to know some of these players, is great for me, to share some of the stories, to get to know some of the younger guys, some of the bright new stars. It’s all so fun for me, as well as hopefully for them.”

Based on what Nowitzki shows about his personality on Twitter, how could those young guys who use it way more than him not be having a great time?

The best Mavs social media moments of the season

Dirk Nowitzki has a well-deserved reputation as one of the funniest players in the NBA, but as it turns out he’s had some pretty stiff competition this year in his own locker room. Following the Mavs players this season on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat has been a trip.

Whether Dirk and Zaza Pachulia are going at it, Justin Anderson is retweeting pictures of lions, or JaVale McGee is posting selfies with the latest Snapchat filters, the Mavs haven’t let their off-the-floor talents go to waste. Although the playoffs are right around the corner, we still have some time to look back on the funny moments before things truly start to heat up. Let’s take a look at some of the best posts and exchanges they’ve had this season.

Let’s start with today…

The Mavs won seven of their final nine games of the season, which means Dirk is already in postseason form. And when the playoffs come around, he takes no prisoners… not even yours truly.

2016-04-14 10_39_27-Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) _ Twitter

Of course, that wasn’t his only zinger of the season, and he doesn’t just pick on lowly scribes, either. When the Dallas Cowboys jokingly submitted a #MavsNewCourt design prominently featuring the famous star logo, Nowitzki didn’t pull any punches when voicing his disapproval.

2016-04-14 10_41_39-Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) _ Twitter

And there was the time when he hit front rim on a dunk — and although it happened after a whistle and therefore didn’t count, that didn’t keep the world from chirping about it. Dirk’s response:

2016-04-14 10_44_18-Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) _ Twitter

Or when C.J. McCollum crossed him up, spun him around, and hit a jumper. (The Mavs won in overtime, though!)

Not even Pau Gasol, a fellow European legend, can avoid a little Nowitzki shade.

Then, of course, there’s this, perhaps the best tweet by any player of the entire season.

Backyard Tennis

Chandler Parsons and Nowitzki are good buddies. Parsons says Nowitzki was one of his favorite athletes growing up, and he proudly wore No. 41 jerseys when playing ball on Florida playgrounds. Now that they’re teammates, Parsons can hang out with his idol. Sometimes that means playing tennis…

#tbt tennis with @swish41 #itwasin #hebeatmebarefoot

A video posted by ChandlerParsons (@chandlerparsons) on

…while others it might mean lifting weights together…

#tbt struggling with the 30s!

A photo posted by ChandlerParsons (@chandlerparsons) on

…while others yet it might mean exploring Southern culture.

@swish41 is ready to hoop!!

A photo posted by ChandlerParsons (@chandlerparsons) on

You’re never too old to be a cowboy.

Parsons and his buddy, Coach Carlisle

These two might have a weird, quirky relationship at times, but that doesn’t stop them from posing for pictures together in front of a Rolls Royce…

Congrats Coach Carlisle on the new deal! #5moreyears #iseeyourwalletisalreadyout

A photo posted by ChandlerParsons (@chandlerparsons) on

…or from hanging out at the most infamous Halloween party in Dallas history.

Happy Halloween!!

A photo posted by ChandlerParsons (@chandlerparsons) on

JaVale McGee, Snapchat superstar

While Nowitzki steals the show on Twitter and Parsons holds the Instagram belt, there’s no question JaVale McGee has the greatest Snapchat of any Maverick, potentially in team history. He’s been a panda rapping along to “Panda” (very meta)…

…he’s relaxed with Buzz Lightyear…

…and he’s worn tropical headgear.

Following along to the adventures of McGee and Raja “The Sphynx” is always a trip, too.

And finally there was the time that he was Charlie Villanueva and Villanueva was he.

Little Mavericks

Villanueva and J.J. Barea both welcomed daughters into the world this season.

Mi vida mi todo Paulina Barea Ortiz 03/31/16 😀😇😜👨‍👩‍👧‍👦🇵🇷

A photo posted by jose barea (@jjbarea11) on

Priceless…….Game Day vs OKC…….#dallasmavs #aliyah #mffl #mavsnation #believeincharlie #proudfather

A photo posted by Charlie Villanueva (@cvbelieve) on

Congratulations to them both!

Dirk and Zaza: An unparalleled rivalry

Dirk and Pachulia don’t back down on the floor, so you’d better believe they’re not going to be shy away from the game. These two go at each other online harder than most guys do their opponents in the postseason.

Dirk doesn’t believe Pachulia can snag a Leonel Messi jersey.

https://twitter.com/zaza27/status/700465922352553988

(Click to see the whole exchange on that one…)

There’s the Great Shoulder Debate of 2015-16.

https://twitter.com/zaza27/status/684965616189595648

And then there’s Zaza taking credit for Dirk’s rise up the all-time scoring list.

Finally, here’s our entry for tweet of the year…

What a season it’s been for the Mavs, both on the floor and off of it. There certainly is something charming about these guys being so funny away from the game, especially in how they interact with one another. The players really enjoy each other’s company, and that’s a pretty important thing given the amount of time they spend together. The group has talked up the importance of chemistry and togetherness all season long, and down the stretch of the playoff race we learned just why that’s so important.