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Dirk Nowitzki: Kobe Bryant 'number one player' over last 15 years

February 13, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Dirk Nowitzki says: "I was always a huge fan of Kobe."
Dirk Nowitzki says: "I was always a huge fan of Kobe." (Darren Abate / Associated…)

Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki has great admiration for Kobe Bryant.

"To me, he's the number one player over the 15 years I've been in the league," said Nowitzki to Grantland's Zach Lowe.

"I was always a huge fan of Kobe," Nowitzki said. "Obviously, he's now on the declining end, like most of us older guys, but the stuff he does ... they are never out of a game."

Nowitzki said he often tunes in to watch Bryant and the Lakers.

"When I get home, at like 11 p.m., I know the fourth quarter will just be starting in L.A., and I'll sit down and watch him basically will his team to win with some incredible shots."

The Mavericks (22-29) are just two games behind the Lakers (25-28) in the standings. Both teams have significant ground to make up if they want to catch the Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets and/or Portland Trail Blazers to make the playoffs.

Nowitzki and the Mavericks defeated the Lakers en route to their title in 2011. The Lakers visit Dallas on Feb. 24.

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Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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