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41 Forever – Mavs Celebrate Dirk Nowitzki Tonight with Jersey Retirement Ceremony

By Dorothy J. Gentry
Sports Editor

PHOTOS CREDIT: Dallas Mavericks and Dorothy J. Gentry

Finals MVP face trophy
MVP Dirk Nowitzki
Photos Credit: Dallas Mavericks and Dorothy J. Gentry

Dirk Nowitzki knows it’s going to be special. 

He knows when his No. 41 jersey is retired tonight at American Airlines Center, there will be plenty of bells and whistles, emotional moments, fun memories and an air of electric excitement in the air.

But he still wants to be surprised by it all.

Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki addresses media on Tuesday

“Well, it’s going to be special, of course. That’s a special evening. I’m sure they’re going to surprise me with some stuff,” said Nowitzki, the greatest Maverick player ever. “I do know, of course, who’s sort of coming because obviously some people are coming from Germany and from FIBA. I have a bird’s eye view, but I’m sure there will be some great, great stuff happening and some great surprises, which I don’t even want to know before.

“I want to keep it that way. I want to be of course surprised that night and be emotional and have an unbelievable experience like I had at 41-21-1 once,” he said, referencing his retirement ceremony.

Nowitzki is the only player in NBA history to play 21 seasons with the same franchise. His illustrious career and legacy will be celebrated tonight when the Dallas Mavericks retire his #41 jersey with a ceremony after the Mavericks host the Golden State Warriors. Special guests include NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Mavs Head Coach Jason Kidd, and Mavs Governor and owner Mark Cuban. 

Nowitzki joins Brad Davis (#10), Rolando Blackman (#22) and Derek Harper (#12) as the only Mavericks to have their jerseys hung in the rafters. As a 14-time All-Star and the first European-born player to be named MVP (2006 – 07), Nowitzki led the Dallas Mavericks to its first NBA Championship in 2011.

30k Shot Cross Court
30k Shot Cross Court

“Dirk is everything to the Mavs,” said Cuban. “First, 41.21.1. and now lifting his jersey to the rafters. It is a special day for the Mavs and Mavs fans around the world.”

All fans in attendance for tonight’s game will receive Nowitzki memorabilia, including a special edition NFT, commemorative tickets, rally towels and fan clappers. Additionally, exclusive Nowitzki Mitchell & Ness gear for this momentous occasion will be available for purchase at the pop-up store inside the Mavs Hangar North Fan Shop beginning at 10 a.m.

MVP Trophy
MVP Trophy

Fans who arrive early will be able to walk the concourse like a museum starting at 5 p.m. with a special showcase from Nowitzki’s personal collection, including All-Star and Championship rings, jerseys, shoes and memorabilia from his history with the Dallas Mavericks.

Following the game, the Jersey Retirement ceremony highlighting Nowitzki’s greatest moments in Dallas Mavericks history with videos, music and entertainment will be held for all fans in attendance.

In 1,522 total games, Nowitzki is the Mavericks’ all-time leader in points (31,560), games played (1,522), starts (1,460), minutes (51,368), rebounds (11,489), defensive rebounds (10,021), field goals made (11,169), 3-pointers made (1,982), free throws made (7,240) and blocks (1,281). 

The Mavs have already named a street outside of the AAC after him – Nowitzki Way – and are also planning to erect a statue outside the Center. 

“It’s going to be overwhelming,” Nowitzki says of tonight’s ceremony. “I am not super emotional off the court, but at stuff like that I tend to get a little emotional, like at the street naming where it took me a couple minutes to get going there. 

“I’m sure it will be overwhelming. But it’s going to be so much fun to see everybody, and hopefully everybody can come that’s been part of my career for such a long time and has helped me somewhere down the line,” he said. “It’s going to be a night of me being extremely grateful to everybody who’s been part of my career.”

Jessica and Dirk Nowitzki volunteering
Humanitarians Jessica and Dirk Nowitzki volunteering
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Written By

Dorothy Gentry is the sports editor for the Texas Metro News.

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