AleThe night Dirk Nowitzki’s number was retired last season, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban vowed to erect “the biggest, toughest statue I’ve ever seen” in front of the American Airlines Center to honor the German legend. Had eaten
“It’s a promise I’m happy to keep, because you’ve earned it,” Cuban told Nowitzki on Christmas morning, steps down from the nearly 24-foot-tall statue unveiled a few years ago bearing the street name. way.
The white bronze statue is a sculpture of Nowitzki’s iconic one-legged jump shot, the same shot shown in silhouette near the left block at both ends of American Airlines Center Court.
The shot became known as “The Dirk”, as Nowitzki climbed to sixth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list and became part of the repertoire of many current players, including two stars who took to that court on Sunday afternoons. Meet LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Luka Doncic of the Mavericks.
Doncic and several other Mavericks players attended the ceremony, as did coach Jason Kidd, Nowitzki’s former teammate.
“One more stop: Hall of Fame,” Kidd said, referring to Nowitzki’s near certainty in the next Hall of Fame class as a first-ballot pick.
Another jewel in the sculptor’s illustrious collection
Artist Omri Amarni created the statue, one of many created to honor NBA legends including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal.
Nowitzki is 21 years old in Dallas
The statue is packed with details including the shoes and uniform Nowitzki wore while leading the Mavericks to the 2010-11 NBA Championship, the franchise’s only title.
The statue’s base reads: “Loyalty never fades,” a tribute to Nowitzki who spent his entire career in Dallas, playing 21 seasons for one franchise, an NBA record.
Nowitzki said, “Here are my 21 letters for my 21 years.”