Dirk Nowitzki retired at the end of the 2018-19 NBA season, which left fans wondering what sort of tribute the team has in store for the franchise’s greatest player. For years, Nowitzki was one of the game’s best, and supporters got the first glimpse of what the Mavericks plan on doing for the future Hall-of-Famer.
What are the Mavericks doing for Dirk Nowitzki?
In a tweet from someone with the Mavericks organization, we learned there will be silhouettes of Nowitzki’s signature one-footed jumper on each of the courts. The news didn’t break until the release of the popular NBA 2K20, which will also feature the silhouette for all of its modes (including MyCareer) during Mavericks games. This hasn’t been done in sports before. It’s a unique way to pay homage to a beloved player.
Dirk Nowitzki’s accomplishments
Nowitzki’s list of accomplishments easily puts him in the running for the greatest power forward ever, along with the league’s best international player. (Who would you choose between the Mavericks star and Hakeem Olajuwon?)
Named to 14 All-Star teams, Nowitzki averaged 20 points and seven rebounds per game for Dallas. He won the 2007 NBA MVP award after putting up 24 points and nine rebounds per game while leading Dallas to the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
Unfortunately, the team was upset in the first round. It was a few more seasons before Nowitzki won a championship. Defeating LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals justified the Mavericks taking Nowitzki in the lottery. (He was also named the NBA Finals MVP.)
Nowitzki’s ability to attack the rim, shoot from the perimeter, and play in the paint made it tough for defenders to stop him. He also had big moments in the playoffs, where he put up 25 points and 10 rebounds per game. Dallas made it to the NBA Finals twice while Nowitzki was the leader of the team.
Nowitzki’s unguardable move
One thing that kept Nowitzki ahead of the game in terms of offense was his one-footed jumper. Already one of the toughest players to defend due to his size, Nowitzki used the move to put up buckets from anywhere on the floor.
It wasn’t surprising to see Nowitzki in a fast break and have a defender cut in front of him. Then, he would stop on a dime to put up the one-footed shot. He also made it tough to defend him on the perimeter, as a quick screen left an opening for him to get a shot off. Out of all the NBA’s unguardable moves (Kareen’s Skyhook, Olajuwon’s Dream Shake, Harden’s stepback), Nowitzki’s must be in the conversation for toughest to defend.
Will Nowitzki get a statue?
Should we expect Nowitzki to get a statue outside of the Mavericks’ arena? We don’t think there will be any issue with it, as the player clearly etched his named in Dallas’s history books, playing with the team for 21 seasons. Do you think this will be the start of a trend for other franchises in the NBA?