What a great moment for Dirk Nowitzki (43)!
The Dallas Mavericks celebrate one of the greatest basketball players of all time, pulling Nowitzki’s jersey with the number 41 under the ceiling. A legend ceremony tonight with tears!
Immediately after the Dallas victory in the NBA against the Golden State Warriors (99:82), in which Nowitzki’s heir Luka Doncic (bends before the end) injured, the ceremony at the American Airlines Center takes place.
The goosebumps honor for Dirk Nowitzki
Nowitzki, who became NBA champion with Dallas in 2011 and was with the Mavericks for 21 years, wears a light blue suit, white shirt and blue tie. His wife Jessica wears a black dress. Daughter Malaika and sons Max and Morris are of course not missing. Everyone is sitting on chairs on the parquet. The children sit between Dirk and Jessica.
At 9:22 pm local time in Dallas, the ceremony (“41 forever”) starts right after the game.
The greatest moments of his career are shown on the video cube. Nowitzki is beaming, already has shining eyes.
NBA boss Adam Silver (59) speaks, says among other things: “Dirk has inspired international players.”
Dallas coach and ex-teammate Jason Kidd gives a speech, asks Dirk: “Are you coming back for 10 days?” Big laughter! “We could always rely on you! Thank you for always being you! Thanks also to Jessica, your kids. You will be a great father. “
Nowitzki swallows, is visibly moved.
Then many friends, ex-trainers, ex-colleagues are brought in via video message who say what made Dirk so special.
One of the nicest sentences: “As great as he was as a basketball player – he is an even better person!”
Phew, Nowitzki swallows again. Have a quick drink of water to wash away the lump in your throat.
Club owner Mark Cuban (63) unveils a small Nowitzki statue in mini format, which will be gigantic in size in front of the hall in the future.
“I’ve made a few notes. All of you sit down, it’ll take a while, all of which I want to say. In June 1998 I was on the plane, not knowing what to expect. When I was there, I saw Dirk signs everywhere. Then I thought: man, they want you here. I knew then that I would stay here forever. I found out later that they weren’t fans, they were club employees. “
The hall laughs.
He thanks everyone who spoke in the video. “That was great!”
He thanks Marc Cuban, who has to wipe a tear from his eyes. “Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family!”
He thanks his Mavericks patrons Don and Donnie Nelson. He thanks his coaches, the assistant trainers, his almost 200 teammates in his Dallas career, friends like Steve Nash, the 2011 championship team (“I love you!”), And Mavericks employees behind the backdrops.
He thanks everyone in the German national basketball team!
He thanks his family – and his mentor and discoverer Holger Geschwindner (76). “He was always there for me! I know you don’t like the limelight. But this is the same for you today. “
“Thanks to my parents! You are the best parents! I am very happy that you are here. “
His parents Jörg and Helga are in the audience.
“Thank you also that my father-in-law came especially from Sweden. The best thing about you is your daughter. “
Then he directs his words to his wife Jessica.
“Jess, you are the backbone of the family. I love you! You are the best mother, you are the best wife! “
“Thanks to my children, Malaika, Morris and Max. I love you. I am proud to be your father. “
“And lastly I would like to thank you fans!”
Dirk has tears in his eyes.
Then he and his wife and children press the button that pulls the jersey under the covers.
Confetti flies through the air in the hall. His son tries to catch the glittering snippets.