The Dallas Mavericks joined the NBA in 1980. Their most successful stretch of years didn’t begin until they recruited German shooter great Dirk Nowitzki in 1998.
When led by the 7-footer, over a 21-year period, the franchise recorded major milestones such as:
- First and only two NBA Finals appearances (2006, 2011)
- First and only NBA championship (2011)
- Most successful regular season (67-15 in 2006-07, .817)
- Two of four division titles (2007, 2010)
- Only league MVP and Finals MVP in franchise history
- 12 consecutive playoff appearances (2001-12)
- 11 of 14 regular seasons with 50 wins
His 21 years in the NBA are tied with three other players for the second most played in the NBA, yet it is the longest career a player has represented in a single franchise.
Nowitzki is among the leaders in the Mavericks’ all-time top stat categories, not to mention the sixth-place-all-time and highest-ranking Maverick on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 31,560 points. in his carrer.
He is not only one of the greatest in the NBA, as evidenced by his selection for NBA 75, but also one of the best European and international players the league has ever seen.
So it came as no surprise when the Mavericks announced in November 2021 that they would honor the legend by retiring his No. 41 jersey when the team host the Golden State Warriors on January 5. His number 41 will be the fourth number to be withdrawn by the franchise.
Nowitzki already has a part of the street near the team’s home stadium, American Airlines Arena, named after him: Nowitzki Trail. It’s certainly no coincidence that the 2021-22 season is the franchise’s 41st in the league.
With that said, here are some sights and sounds from Nowitzki’s jersey retirement ceremony.
Sights and Sounds: Dirk Nowitzki T-Shirt Retirement Ceremony
As part of his speech on his memorable evening, Nowitzki thanked his parents for their sacrifices, shared how proud he is of his children as a father and he finished by thanking the Mavericks faithful.
Current Mavericks head coach and Nowitzki teammate Jason Kidd paid tribute to the German, including asking him jokingly if he wanted to return given the current situation of the delivery of 10-day contracts by the NBA team.
By no means has the Dallas franchise finished celebrating its legend when Mavericks Governor Mark Cuban shared some great news.
Nowitzki had several special family faces sitting in the center of the court to celebrate his jersey going up to the rafters.
Of course, Nowitzki’s coach and mentor, Holger Geschwindner, was present. No way, he was missing it.
As part of the special night, the Mavericks also gave a donation to the legend’s charity at halftime.
Before the game, all current Mavericks players showed up in the arena in Nowitzki jerseys and Luka Doncic even paid tribute to the legend in his custom Jordan shoes.
The man of the night!