After months of planning, Wednesday night will be the night the Dallas Mavericks honor the undisputed best player of their franchise as they raise Dirk Nowitzki’s No. 41 jersey to the rafters of the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
He will join players such as 80’s icons Brad Davis (10), Rolando Blackman (22), and Derek Harper (12). The franchise honored Kobe Bryant after his tragic accident in 2020 by retiring his No. 24 jersey.
One of the best to ever lace ’em up.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 5, 2022
The Mavericks will raise Dirk Nowitzki’s jersey to the rafters tonight 👏 pic.twitter.com/xGMRYMz3zO
Nowitzki led Dallas to two NBA Finals appearances against the Miami Heat in 2006 and 2011, with the Mavs taking home the championship the second time around. Dirk’s most significant contribution to the game was changing the narrative around big men from playing exclusively in the paint to play utilizing their jump-shot and guard-skills they developed over the years.
Nowitski built his legacy around his evolutionary one-legged fadeaway and floor-spacing jump shot. His crowning achievements were winning the MVP in 2005 and delivering a championship for a franchise in 2011.
NBA.com and Nowitzki had some fun reminiscing about some of his highlights throughout his storied career. His reactions, at times, were better than the highlights themselves.
“You guys got me going down memory lane!”— NBA (@NBA) January 5, 2022
Dirk Nowitzki reacts to his highlights from an incredible NBA career!
Watch his Jersey Retirement Ceremony TONIGHT on NBA TV, https://t.co/Pqxh2EPubW or the NBA App after the @dallasmavs game. #41Forever:
➡: https://t.co/E0TqX69c2f pic.twitter.com/SxAaQAy6OW
Nowitzki retired in 2019 as the franchise leader in points, games, starts, minutes, rebounds, 3-pointers, free throws, and blocks. He owns the NBA record for playing 21 years with the same team. He is the highest-scoring foreign-born player in NBA history and stands sixth on the all-time scoring list with 31,560 points. He is widely considered the greatest European-born player to ever play in the NBA.