The Dallas Mavericks don’t waste any more time. On Wednesday they will honor the GOAT of their franchise when they hang up shirt no. 41 by Dirk Nowitzki at the beams of the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Nowitzki will be the fourth player to be withdrawn from the Mavs, along with Brad Davis (10), Rolando Blackman (22) and Derek Harper (12). The Mavs also withdrew number 24 to honor Kobe Bryant after his tragic death in 2020. Dirk joins a great company, but he is by far the crown jewel of this Mavericks organization.
“Dirk is everything for the Mavs”, Cuban said in a press release on Wednesday’s ceremony. “First 41.21.1., and now raise the mesh up to the rafters. It’s a special day for Mavs and Mavs fans all over the world. “
This is once I should agree with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Dirk really was, and still is, everything to that organization and its fans. I know that now we are all prisoners of the moment and we get nervous every time Luka Dončić loses a cent or takes a step back three. But the only way for Dončić to truly become the all-time number one for the Mavs is to bring a second NBA championship to Dallas. Luka will break many, if not all, of Dirk’s records for the Mavs, but until he takes them to a title, he will always be behind Dirk in that respect.
Dallas had some good years in the 1980s, making the postseason and even an appearance in the Western Conference Finals in 88. But the ’90s were dry for the Mavericks, as they missed the postseason every year of that decade. Dirk was chosen as ninth overall in ’98 (season shortened by the lockout) and in ’03 he had the Mavs in the conference finals. And it was no small thing. We’re talking about the Shaq-Kobe / Duncan-Robinson era of the NBA Western Conference.
Obviously, Nowitzki at the end led the Mavs to two NBA Finals appearances against the Miami Heat, winning it all in 2011. But Dirk was the first 7-footer I remember playing regularly as a guard. Shooting consistently, getting players off dribbling, developing a good command over the years, and doing things we hadn’t seen many greats do before 2000. You have to remember that we’re talking about the era in which every player does. he expected 6’10 “or higher to play low on the wall. And if that player couldn’t make a living on the low, he was quickly considered a fringe player.
Nowitzki did well to be a great skilled man even though his style was initially rejected. A league MVP award, then a championship for a franchise that had no history of winning. Nowitzki earned this honor by taking place in Dallas on Wednesday. The final stop on Dirk’s NBA journey is the Hall of Fame. That announcement is just a matter of time and eligibility.