Honor for Nowitzki: “It was a breathtaking journey”

Status: 06.01.2022 10:35 a.m.

He wiped the tears from his eyes several times – that was a great honor for the former basketball star Nowitzki: His jersey number 41 will be pulled under the roof of the Dallas Mavericks and will no longer be awarded.

The former world-class basketball player Dirk Nowitzki received a very special honor: The basketball professionals of the Dallas Mavericks paid tribute to the superstar Nowitzki, who resigned almost three years ago. Numerous Mavericks players came to the American Airlines Center in the evening wearing jerseys with the number 41 for the NBA game against the Golden State Warriors.

After the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA game against the Golden State Warriors, his jersey with the number 41 was pulled under the roof and will no longer be awarded in the future.

At the side of his family

Together with his wife Jessica and their three children Malaika, Max and Morris, Nowitzki enjoyed the soulful celebration, which was attended by league boss Adam Silver and Mavs owner Mark Cuban as well as numerous players from the former championship team.

When it was the turn of the native Würzburg himself, he pulled a cheat sheet out of his pocket and gave a humorous acceptance speech for around 20 minutes. At the beginning he announced: “You can sit down, it will take a while now.”

At the ceremony his wife Jessica and his three children Malaika, Max and Morris were at his side.

Image: dpa

A very special thank you went to his family. “Jess, you are the backbone of our family and you keep the business running. You are the best woman and the best mother. I love you,” said Nowitzki, who has been enjoying his life as a privateer and father for almost three years. He told his own offspring: “Find your passion and work hard. I love you and am proud of you.”

During the ceremony, the star became emotional, thanking teammates, those in charge and fans. The 43-year-old German had played his entire NBA career for the Dallas Mavericks.

It was a breathtaking journey. What a special ceremony.

During the celebration, the basketball star got emotional and had to wipe away a few tears as well.

Image: AFP

“You set standards”

The current Mavericks coach and former teammate Jason Kidd had previously asked rhetorically: “We’re giving you a ten-day contract, do you want to come back?” Kidd had spoken on behalf of the 2011 Mavericks championship team.

What a trip. An incredible journey. You set standards for what it means to win and work. On behalf of the championship team, I would like to say thank you: simply for being you. You were always a champion. ”

NBA commissioner Silver said he had never seen a ceremony like this.

Dirk, they love you not only here in Dallas, but all over the world. 21 years with a team and you brought that team a championship.

A statue for the giant

The 2.13 meter tall giant told the anecdote again how he was euphorically received by hundreds of people at the airport in Dallas in 1998. “A few years later I found out that they weren’t fans, but club employees who were sent out,” said Nowitzki.

In addition to a street named after him and the jersey honor, he will soon also receive a statue. Club boss Cuban has already revealed it in miniature form – and announced: “It will be in front of the arena – and the next arena and the arena after it. And it will be big.”

Nowitzki joked after the unveiling: “I thought the statue would be a little bigger.”

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