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Dirk Nowitzki on Kobe Bryant’s Retirement: ‘The Greatest Player I’ve Faced’

As Kobe Bryant begins his farewell tour, NBA legends and superstars are weighing in on his legacy and paying homage this week.

Yesterday Allen Iverson posted a touching message on Instagram, and today Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki expressed sadness about Bryant’s retirement and stated that Kobe is the greatest player he has ever faced.

Bryant always made it clear that his legacy would be measured by what his peers thought about him. To an NBA players, what their rivals and former teammates say about them actually holds the most weight. Via Dallas News:

“It’s disappointing,” Nowitzki said after the Mavericks’ shootaround Monday. “A lot of these warriors that were drafted in the ’90s are slowly fading away. And it’s obviously toward the end for us all. It’s a little sad.”

For Nowitzki, few games got his pulse racing like when he played against Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I’m happy for him that he made that decision for himself,” he said. “It could lift a little weight off his shoulder. To me, he’s probably the greatest player I’ve faced. And I’ve faced some great players with Tim Duncan and Shaq and all these guys. But he was something else, just scoring-wise, the shot-making ability was incredible. I was always a big fan. But it’s disappointing that we’re all getting old.”


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