Dirk Nowitzki was fast asleep, across an ocean and past four countries, when his phone came to life with the news the rest of the NBA anticipated in July of 2010. The key that unlocked all the rest of free agency had finally been turned. LeBron James made a decision.
Nowitzki’s phone wouldn’t be ignored.
So he woke up to the incessant buzzing around 3:30 a.m. in Germany and checked his messages. James was headed to Miami.
“It just came a little bit out of nowhere,” Nowitzki said.
Nowitzki was a free agent that summer, but by the time James’ ESPN special aired to announce his move, Nowitzki had already re-signed with the Dallas Mavericks, the team with which he...