„One of the greatest of all time, Dirk Nowitzki!“
On February 25th, the Dallas Mavericks lost 121-112 against the Los Angeles Clippers. While not particularly newsworthy, the real highlight of the night was Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki hit a milestone Monday night, playing in the 1,500th game of his career. This major milestone is something that only few have accomplished, and places him behind only NBA legends Robert Parish, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and John Stockton in NBA history rankings.
„Dirk! Dirk!“ „Dirk! Dirk!“ The crowd erupted in applause as Doc Rivers, LA Clippers Coach, took an unprecedented timeout with 9.4 seconds left, grabbed the mic, and honored the Dallas Mavericks legend currently playing in his 21st season for the team. This remarkable move paying homage to Dirk Nowitzki on this special night was seen as a true sign of respect. Thanking Rivers for this moment, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle stated “It was one of the greatest things I’ve seen,“ Carlisle said. „I know there will be more moments similar to that, but this was an original. I’ve never seen something like this.”
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) February 26, 2019
Earlier this month, Dirk Nowitzki, along with Dwayne Wade, was appointed a special roster spot at the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte, NC. This special honor was bestowed on both stars to “celebrate their extraordinary contributions as iconic NBA champions and beloved ambassadors” stated the NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, as the stars “embody the best of the NBA: remarkable skill, drive and professionalism as well as a deep devotion to strengthening their communities and growing the game around the world”. That weekend, the future Hall of Famer also participated in the famous Three-Point Contest and was given the job of honorary coach for the Rising Stars Team World. Dirk Nowitzki appeared on all three nights of the NBA All Star Game and was cheered for as loud as any hero should be!
Germans and Americans both love Dirk Nowitzki, the German Wunderkind. Seen as one of the most likeable sports stars, Nowitzki is known for his charity events benefitting children’s health and education, as well as his down to earth, humble personality. In truly Wunderbar fashion, he received the NBA’s 2016/17 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award for his “his selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players”. Bearing the German flag at the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony, Nowitzki represents the true Olympic spirit of competing with athletes from around the world.
Playing in 1500 games and playing in 21 seasons for the same team are not the only two milestones Dirk Nowitzki can break this year. He is also on track to reach fifth place in the NBA all-time scoring record book. Stay tuned to see what other headlines Nowitzki will break this year as Nowitzki’s Wunderbar Together story is still being written and standing ovations like Monday night in LA are bound to keep happening!
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