The Dallas Mavericks won their fourth straight on Wednesday night as they topped the Golden State Warriors, who have the best record in the NBA, but it was a mere footnote in the story. Dirk Nowitzki took center stage on Jan. 5 as the franchise celebrates its GOAT by retiring his number 41 jersey.
It was an unforgettable night for Mavericks fans. A host of players from the 2011 championship team were on hand for Dirk as were plenty of his former teammates and competitors. Nobody wanted to miss a chance to honor Nowitzki, one of the best to ever do it.
Here is a look back at the celebration of Dirk and his jersey being raised to the rafters.
Dirk Nowitzki jersey retirement an emotional and unforgettable night
Dirk was a bit late arriving for his special evening, but the Mavericks had a ton of his personal memorabilia on display in the concourse. The organization also donated $250,000.41 to Nowitzki’s foundation at halftime on Jan. 5.
The Mavs pulled off arguably their best win of the season on the court before the festivities began. Six members of the 2011 championship joined Mark Cuban, Adam Silver, Dirk’s family, and Holger on the floor for the ceremony.
The Mavericks produced two tribute videos and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra was on hand to help ring in the night. NBA Commissioner Silver took the microphone first before Dirk’s former teammate and current Mavs head coach Jason Kidd. The Hall of Fame point guard got a massive laugh after asking Nowitzki if he was interested in a ten-day contract.
Owner Mark Cuban took the floor next and praised Dirk and the special Forever 41 night before unveiling the statue that will be erected outside the American Airlines Center. Fans can see the video below.
Then, it was finally Dirk’s turn to take the microphone, and the Mavericks GOAT did not disappoint. He made MFFLs laugh, cry, and feel proud with his memorable speech. My words will not do it justice, so watch it again here.
Dirk with the help of his wife and three children raised his jersey to the rafters where it will be forever. The Mavs will never have another Nowitzki. Number 41 was an all-time great player on the court and is an even better person away from it. He is a legend in every sense of the word, and Dirk deserves every honor.
It was an emotional but fitting tribute to Dirk Nowitzki. The Dallas Mavericks won the game, but could be forgotten. Dirk and his jersey retirement ceremony never will be. He gave fans so many unforgettable moments throughout his 21-year career with the Mavs, and Jan. 5 was another one. Thanks for everything Dirty and enjoy your retirement.