Former Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki had a street renamed in his honor on Wednesday.
FILE PHOTO: Basketball – FIBA World Cup – First Round – Group A – Ivory Coast v China – Wukesong Arena, Beijing, China – August 31, 2019 Former NBA player Dirk Nowitzki of Germany attends the match. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo
Nowitzki Way was unveiled near American Airlines Center in Dallas. It replaces the 2900-3000 block on Olive Street to the south of the arena.
“It’s sort of surreal,” Nowitzki said at the ceremony. “From my first year, the city probably wouldn’t have named a dumpster after me.”
The future Hall of Famer quickly improved and became a 14-time NBA All-Star. He was the NBA MVP for the 2006-07 season, and he cemented his legendary status by leading the Mavericks to the 2010-11 NBA title.
He retired after the last season — his 21st, all with the Mavericks. Nowitzki ranks sixth in NBA history with 31,560 points, one of just eight players to top 30,000. No other player has ever played more than 20 seasons with the same team.
Handling the pressures of basketball weren’t a problem for the now 41-year-old German, but he got emotional at the ceremony while looking at the street sign.
“It’s a little bit bigger than basketball,” Nowitzki said. “This is about my relationship with the city. There was a lot of love that I’ve received from this community.”
Nowitzki said he kept being asked why the street wasn’t named “Dirk Drive or Dirk Way.”
The simple answer was that he was more interested in his last name being honored.
“This is for my family to be represented,” he said. “First of all, I never drove much in my career.”
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and coach Rick Carlisle were in attendance. So were former Dallas coaches Avery Johnson and Don Nelson.
—Field Level Media