Gary Trent explains the meaning behind Dirk’s “burger” talk
Gary Trent played 3 seasons for the Mavericks in from 1999 – 2001. His first season in Dallas, the lockout shortened 1998-1999 campaign was when he experienced his greatest individual success, averaging 16 points per game and playing in 45 out of the 50 games that season.
Also on the team that season was a rookie by the name of Dirk Nowitzki. While Trent was only a teammate of Dirk’s for the first 3 seasons of his career, he left a lasting impression on Nowitzki, something that has continued even to this day.
Most MFFLs know that Dirk often teases his teammates and opponents, calling them a “burger”. Nowitzki has credited Trent in recent years when asked about the origin of “burger”, so I made sure to ask Trent about this when he came on the podcast this past spring.
“You’re easy,” Trent explained. “[He’s] about to eat you up.”
In addition to sharing this, Trent was very forthcoming about what led to his decision to sign with Dallas back in the winter of 1999, as well as sharing Mark Cuban’s immediate impact on the team when Cuban purchased the Mavs in 2000, Trent’s second year in Dallas.
“My last 2 years, Mark had the team. He started changing things around. He started taking feedback from guys….He just stepped up and took the Mavericks from a cellar dweller organization of the 90s and made it basically first class”
After some initial success his first year in Dallas, Trent experienced two injury riddled seasons his final two years in Dallas, playing in only 44 out of a possible 164 games, and missed out on the team’s exciting first post-season berth in the spring of 2001.
Despite being relegated to the sidelines during the majority of his time in Dallas, Trent looks back fondly on his time as a Maverick.
“I really loved it there. I loved it. I had a great time in Portland, I had a great time in Minnesota. But I say, my favorite was Dallas. I think that was because that was where I had my on court success, my break out success. I really felt like I was a part of something there….it just felt good to be a part of something, to be a part of things.”
Today, Trent is a Behavior Intervention Specialist for elementary schools in his home town of Columbus, Ohio and his son Gary Trent Jr will be a rookie this season for the Portland Trail Blazers, the same team Trent Sr played for his first 3 seasons in the NBA.
Thank you for listening, I hope you enjoy the episode.
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