US basketball

Mavericks unveil statue of franchise icon Dirk Nowitzki

Reuters
Mavericks unveil statue of franchise icon Dirk Nowitzki

LEGEND. The Mavericks honor Dirk Nowitzki with his own statue outside the American Airlines Center.

Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The line 'loyalty never fades away' is written at the base of the statue – a tribute to the 21 seasons Dirk Nowitzki played with the Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks unveiled a statue of legendary forward Dirk Nowitzki prior to their 124-115 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, December 25 (Monday, December 26, Manila time).

The statue outside American Airlines Center is nearly 24 feet tall and is a sculpture of Nowitzki’s famed one-legged fadeaway jumper.

Nowitzki spent his entire 21-year career (1998-2019) with the Mavericks, an NBA record for most seasons played with one franchise.

The writing at the base of the statue signifies that: “Loyalty never fades away.”

“It’s 21 letters for my 21 years here,” Nowitzki said.

Nowitzki, a 14-time All-Star and the 2007 MVP, led Dallas to its lone NBA title during the 2010-11 season. He was named NBA Finals MVP.

Now 44, Nowitzki ranks sixth in NBA history with 31,560 career points. He will likely be a first-ballot selection to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2023.

Several current Dallas players attended the ceremony, including star guard Luka Doncic. Mavericks coach Jason Kidd, a former teammate of Nowitzki, also watched the festivities.

The statue is on Nowitzki Way, a street outside the downtown Dallas arena that was renamed after the German in 2019. – Rappler.com

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