DALLAS ( Associated Press) – Dirk Nowitzki stood with his son, Max, both ready to press the button that revealed a statue of the retired Dallas Mavericks star outside the team’s arena.
It had already been revealed that the statue would feature Nowitzki’s distinctive jump backwards on top of one foot. Not that there was any doubt.
Los Angeles Lakers coach Darwin Hamm said, “From afar, in the sky, any kind of rain-generating shot,” said Dallas Lakers on Christmas Day Sunday after the ceremony.
Nowitzki has a street named after him near the American Airlines Center and his jersey is already on the roof of the arena. Now in the southern square of the amphitheater a statue of more than seven meters was presented on a sunny, but cold morning.
“It was emotional,” said Nowitzki, who is the only player in NBA history to spend 21 seasons with the same franchise. “When he woke up, he realized that the sun was perfect, illuminating him directly.”
Of the many honors to recognize Nowitzki’s career, the largest came at the Mavs’ 11th anniversary, the only other Christmas game.
The German was the face of the franchise at the time and in the 2011–12 season he defended the only title the team has ever won.
The new face of the team, star Luka Doncic, 23, watched the ceremony from behind Nowitzki along with his teammates and coach Jason Kidd, who played alongside Nowitzki.
His family traveled from Germany with Nowitzki’s mentor, Holger Geschwinder. The 44-year-old former player reiterated several times how much it meant to have his mother and father at the ceremony.
The incident occurred four days after Nowitzki was inducted into the Hall of Fame along with San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, retired Spurs guard Tony Parker and Dwyane Wade, who led Nowitzki to the 2006 Finals with Miami before losing against them in 2011. was defeated.