Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki announced his retirement. After a Hall of Fame career, it is important to remember what Dirk didn’t do.
Dallas Mavericks GOAT Dirk Nowitzki didn’t win Rookie of the Year. He never won an All-Star game MVP. Dirk didn’t win a championship the first time he made it to the NBA Finals. He didn’t win a championship the year he won the MVP, either.
Dirk Nowitzki never quit trying, though.
Nowitzki didn’t bail out on Dallas when it got hard. He didn’t sign with another team because it’d be an easier situation, or because it was loaded with all-stars that beat him the year before. Dirk was determined to forge his own legacy, to do things his way, and to finish what he started.
When Dirk Nowitzki finally reached the goal he’d fought so hard for, he didn’t make it about himself or his accomplishments. Dirk didn’t stand on the court and beat his chest. No, he went to the locker room and let all those years of negativity and disappointment fall away as he cried tears of joy. Dirk only emerged for the trophy ceremony when advised he’d regret not being with his teammates at that moment.
When Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson broke up that championship team in an attempt to lure superstar free agents to Dallas to carry Dirk into his twilight years, he didn’t protest. He didn’t complain when the plan didn’t work. Dirk didn’t orchestrate some behind the scenes plot to get traded.
He didn’t stop playing and didn’t stop shooting.
No farewell tour
With his career winding down, Dirk didn’t announce some big farewell tour. He didn’t make the season all about him as his team fought for a playoff spot, even though he totally could have and we would have forgiven him.
With no chance at the playoffs and crowds at visiting arenas cheering for him to shoot, Dirk instead made this season about the Dallas Mavericks’ future. He made it about the young players like Luka Doncic. Dirk didn’t want to be the center of attention, even when fans wanted him to be.
Nowitzki didn’t want to make this season some big send off. He didn’t have to tell everyone how great he is, because he showed up every day and worked hard no matter the circumstances.
When you do that, you don’t have to take to social media and defend yourself. Others will do it for you.
Dirk didn’t just play basketball in Dallas. He became our ambassador, one of our community leaders, and one of our favorite athletes ever. Dirk didn’t give up. He persevered. Dirk didn’t just entertain us, he gave us a role model.
Dirk Nowitzki didn’t do a lot of things during his career, and Dallas Mavericks fans are glad about every one of them.