Holger Geschwindner Rumors
Dirk Nowitzki on a possible career as Head Coach: “Becoming a Head Coach was never my goal. A Head Coach not only needs to have basketball knowledge, he has to evaluate characters, has to mix them, to motivate – even yell at someone once in a while. That is not part of my personality. I am not the person to stand somewhere and hold a 20 minute speech. I think player development is more my ideal role; I sure learned a lot from Holger Geschwindner about that in the last 20 years. But Head Coach? No way.”
Rajon Rondo, a basketball savant who has never figured out the art of shooting, quietly observed Holger Geschwindner working with his masterpiece on the Dallas Mavericks’ practice court before the All-Star break. After his shooting session was done, Dirk Nowitzki made an offer to his point guard, if not a suggestion. “If you want to work with Holger, now is the time,” Nowitzki told Rondo, mentioning that Rondo would be sidelined another week to 10 days due to facial fractures. “You’re more than welcome.” As Nowitzki recalled the moment, he added: “And Holger obviously loves challenges in his life.”
To his credit, Rondo, who earned a reputation for being difficult to coach in his younger years, embraced the opportunity to work with Dirk’s longtime mentor and shot doctor. Rondo started shooting with Geschwindner immediately after Nowitzki made the suggestion – a partnership the media got a quick glimpse of after Thursday’s shootaround in Oklahoma City – and continued until Holger packed up his flannel shirts and blue jeans and headed back to Germany on Friday. Rondo plans to continue following the program that Geschwindner, who will return for the playoffs as is his custom, put in place.
“It’s a lot different,” said Rondo, a career 26.1 percent 3-point shooter and a 31.1 percent shooter from the free throw line this season. “Some things are not comfortable, but that’s part of it. It’s early in the process. Obviously, Dirk is one of the greatest scorers of all time. He’s worked with Dirk since he was 10, 11 years old. It’s going to take some time, but he’s very positive and I pretty much understand all of his methods.”
One intriguing thought for him is the possibility of coaching. “Some of the stuff Holger has done with me, I’d love to keep that going,” Nowitzki said of his mentor and personal coach, Holger Geschwindner. “Holger mentioned it to me before, ‘What you have learned from me, I want you to give to someone else someday.’ Maybe I’ll do that a little bit later — individual coaching.”
Holger Geschwindner, who has mentored Dirk Nowitzki since he was a teenager in Wurzburg, Germany, believes the 35-year-old Dallas Mavericks star can play at a high level for “three or four more years easily,” barring serious injury. Geschwindner has encouraged Nowitzki, who made his 12th All-Star appearance this season, to play long enough that he’ll have no regrets after retiring.