It has been six months since Dirk Nowitzki announced his retirement from the NBA after 21 seasons. After the game against the Phoenix, Suns in the home season finale for the Mavericks.
“As you guys might expect, this is my last home game,” an emotional Nowitzki told the Dallas crowd, which greeted him with a long ovation.
“I’m trying my yoga breathing, but it’s not really working that well,” Nowitzki joked before continuing.
“This is obviously super, super emotional, there’s just too many people to really thank… I put you guys on a hell of a ride, with a lot of ups and downs, and you guys always stuck with me and supported me, so I appreciate it.”
After Dirk’s final home game, Jamal Crawford, who dropped 51 points that night, stated it wasn’t about him; it was about his teammates and of course, Dirk.
“I’m sorry we didn’t get the win, but obviously it was Dirk’s night tonight,” Crawford said. “So you don’t feel all the way bad. It was not about me at all, and it was about my teammates and coaches; I just have to do my part.”
Looking back on Dirk’s Career
Dirk played all 21 one season in a Mavericks’ uniform, winning the league MVP in 2006-07 season and helped Dallas capture its first NBA championship in 2010-11. He was also named the Finals MVP as well. Nowitzki leaves the game as the sixth all-time leading scorer in NBA history with 31,560 the closest active player to him is Vince Carter, who is over 6000 points away.
The Trade that brought Dirk to Dallas.
The Milwaukee Bucks selected Nowitzki with the 9th pick out of Germany in the 1998 draft. However, the Bucks would strike a deal with Dallas that sent Nowitzki to Dallas in exchange for Robert “Tractor” Traylor. A trade that will go down in NBA history as one of the worst trades of all-time. Considering the late Traylor never turned into an all-star caliber player.
Before Dirk made his retirement announcement, NBA legends, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird, Shawn Kemp, and Detlef Schrempf spoke on Dirk’s behalf. After his announcement Mavericks owner Mark Cuban opened his speech by thanking Nowitzki and promising not just a jersey retirement. He also promised that they would also build a statue in from of the American Airlines Center, and he had a job for life.
Last season, Cuban was asked if he would be willing to sit down and discuss that possibility?
Cuban replied “Sure.”
“It is an honor that he said that, I want to focus on me still playing, and whatever I decided to do after my career. We will cross that bridge when we get there,” Nowitzki told me.
When can we see Dirk’s statue in front of the American Airlines Center?
“I have been talking to Dirk, and we have to pick the sculptor then will pick the artist. But, Dirk and I have been discussing it, and it’s going to take some time. It will be about a year to do it, Cuban told me.”
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