By: Nick Gibson / @euro_adventures
Dirk Nowitzki played his fourth NBA career game against the Houston Rockets in the lockout-shortened 1998-99 NBA season. He had 8 points, five boards and a pair of blocks. The Mavericks lost, and although I haven’t been able to find footage, there are no reports of Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon or Scottie Pippen sending Nowitzki to the floor in a heap for little to no reason at all.
Flash forward to Ricky Rubio’s fourth game as a pro in the lockout-shortened season of 2011-12. Rubio had a new career high 14 points to go with seven assists and three boards. The Mavericks lost, and Nowitzki chose an interesting way to welcome his European comrade into the league.
No foul was called, so Rubio quietly hatched his revenge. Since body slamming Nowtzki was clearly out, Ricky did what Ricky does: thread the needle.
In the fourth quarter, Dirk’s knees played the role of the needle, and the thread ended up with Anthony Tolliver who drilled a dagger from the corner.
Revenge: check. First NBA win: check.