Harrison Barnes shines a light into his relationship with Dirk Nowitzki
Mavericks small forward Harrison Barnes recently went on 105.3-FM The Fan’s Ben and Skin show. Here are some highlights.
If he has loftier goals beyond athletics:
“Absolutely. For you to be the best in your sports, for you to achieve the highest you can is very important. But there are so many people that helped me get to this point. My high school coaches always said success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Now that I’m here, I know it’s my job and my duty, at least I feel, to reach down, give advice to kids who maybe want to become basketball players, maybe want to do something different in their life. I can help them, whether it’s on the basketball court or literacy or whatever it may be to help them be successful.”
On hearing praise from Mavericks teammate Dirk Nowitzki about how Barnes is a hard worker and such an important member of the Dallas community:
“I just saw him in the locker room the other day and he said nothing close to that to me. It means a lot, especially coming from a guy like Dirk that’s been in this community a long time. He’s all about giving back, he’s all about people. The biggest thing for me when I came to Dallas was how open and willing he was to work with young guys. Work on the court every day, be willing to talk, have access to. Guys of his status, All-Stars or future Hall of Famers, can kind of be distant, ‘I just want to finish up career and create my legacy.’ But he’s super down-to-earth and that’s what I think helped us last year as far as my transition and me playing better. A lot of that gives credit to him.”
On his gym rat status and how he interacts with Nowitzki about that:
“Honestly, I’ve just been trying to work as hard as I can and spend as much time as I can with him in the gym. I remember one day at practice we’re standing on the sidelines on the gym and said, ‘Oh man, Dirk, you’re about to get to 20 years. That’s impressive. Do you think I can get to 20 years?’ He’s like, ‘No way man. You need major skill to get to 20 years.’ So that’s kind of the nature of our relationship. I just want to try to become the best basketball player that I can and follow the mold that he’s set here in Dallas for years and years of just constantly getting better every single year.”