The leader of the German squad Dennis Schroder got some criticism for the failure, especially for the loss against the Dominican Republic, but he doesn’t have a problem with it: “Either I play my game or I do not play at all. I try to put my teammates in the spotlight, I did that today and the last two games. There will always be criticism, I’m built for it, no problem for me”, he said, per Sport1.
SLAM: When you think back on your career with the German national team, is there a specific moment that sticks out? Dirk Nowitzki: It has to be the Olympic tournament in ’08, even though we didn’t make it out of the first round. Just to be there and I got to carry the flag in for my nation, got to lead my nation into the stadium—I’ll never forget that for the rest of my life. There were some other great tournaments: ’02 championships, ’05 European championships—of course, we got a medal there. But nothing tops the Beijing Olympics for me.
SLAM: How much bigger is basketball in Germany now compared to when you were a kid growing up there? Dirk Nowitzki: It’s of course grown a lot. I think it shows in our national team—we have three NBA players on that team now. The game has gotten so much better, the league has gotten so much better in Germany, so it’s been fun to watch—not only in Germany, but the growth of the game [everywhere]. We have players from Africa, Australia, from all over the world that are having an impact in the NBA now. It’s been amazing to watch the game grow the last two decades and it’s still going to grow.
The Dominican Republic came in with quite an upset for the Germans and with their 70-68 victory, they can rest on top of Group G (2-0) and with a ticket to the second round of FIBA World Cup in their hands.
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness would be open to the club hiring German legend Dirk Nowitzki for a position with the team, given that the former Maverick will want to work in his native country. “If he feels like working in Germany, then you have to make a deal,” Hoeness said on Nowitzki to Magenta Sport, per Sport1.