Dirk Nowitzki announced on an evening full of emotions the end of his unique basketball career. “This was my last home game, as you expected,” said the superstar of the Dallas Mavericks after the 120: 109 against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday on the indoor microphone.
Hundreds of Mavericks had given Nowitzki a great reception upon his arrival in the heart of the arena. Even before the match, his teammates JJ Barea and Devin Harris paid homage to him. The speakers in the hall played a modified version of the Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling”, “Tonight’s Gonna Be a Dirk Night” – “Tonight gonna be a Dirk night,”.
Nowitzki masks were distributed to the audience, and many fans wore T-shirts marked 41.21.1, inspired by his back number 41, his 21 seasons that he has played for the team, Dallas Mavericks. Some of Nowitzki’s 2011 teammates were among the spectators. The German scored ten points in the first three minutes. Among them, his famous “Fade Away”.
Club owner Mark Cuban, who has a friendly relationship with the German, took over Nowitzki’s microphone after the resignation and said “You will get a lifetime job with the Mavericks. We will never give out your number again and we’ll build a big Bad Ass statue in front of the hall”
Dirk’s sister Silke Nowitzki tweeted her brother’s picture just as he announced his resignation as a pro athlete, with a blue heart and the wonderful sentence: An athlete dies twice.
For more than a decade, Nowitzki was an elite player in the NBA. He was the first European to have been named the League’s Most Valuable Player (2007), 14-time Allstar and, of course, NBA Champion and Most Valuable Player of the Finals (2011). He achieved all these playing for the Dallas Mavericks, a hitherto notoriously unsuccessful team that brought the German in 1998.