The Dallas Mavericks joined the NBA in 1980. Their most successful stretch of years didn’t begin until they drafted German shooting big man Dirk Nowitzki in 1998.
When led by the 7-footer, over a 21-year stretch, the franchise recorded major landmarks such as:
His 21 years in the NBA is tied with three other players for the second-most played in the NBA, however, it is the longest career a player has represented a single franchise.
Nowitzki ranks among the leaders on the Mavericks’ major all-time stat categories, not to mention ranking sixth all-time and the highest-ranking Maverick on NBA’s all-time scoring list with 31,560 career points.
He’s not just one of the NBA’s greatest, as proved by his selection to the NBA 75, but also one of the greatest European and International players the league has ever seen.
So, it came as no surprise when the Mavericks announced on Nov. 2021 that they would be honouring the legend by retiring his No. 41 jersey when the team would host the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 5. His No. 41 will be the fourth number to be retired by the franchise.
Nowitzki already has a part of the street close to the team’s home arena, American Airlines Arena, named after him – Nowitzki way. It’s certainly no coincidence that the 2021-22 season is the franchise’s 41st in the league.
That said, here are a few sights and sounds from Nowitzki’s jersey retirement ceremony
Sights and Sounds: Dirk Nowitzki’s jersey retirement ceremony
As part of his speech on his memorable night, Nowitzki thanked his parents for their sacrifices, shared how proud he is of his kids as a dad and capped it off by thanking the Mavericks faithful.
Current Mavericks head coach and Nowitzki’s teammate Jason Kidd paid tribute to the German, even jokingly asking him if he wanted to come back given the current situation of NBA team’s handing out 10-day contracts.
By no means is the Dallas franchise done celebrating their legend as Mavericks governer Mark Cuban shared some big news.
Nowitzki had several special familiar faces seated at center court to celebrate his jersey being raised to the rafters.
Of course, Nowitzki’s long-time coach and mentor Holger Geschwindner was in attendance. No way, he was missing it.
As part of the special night, the Mavericks also gave away a donation to the legend’s charity at halftime.
Pregame, all current Mavericks players showed up to the arena in Nowitzki’s jerseys with Luka Doncic even paying tribute to the legend on his custom Jordan sneakers.
The man of the night!
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