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41 Forever: The beautiful ceremony of Dirk Nowitzki's number retirement

The Dallas Mavericks took advantage of Wednesday's game against the Golden State Warriors to retire the #41 of what is widely regarded as the greatest player in franchise history, Germany's Dirk Nowitzki.

A statue of Dirk outside the American Airlines Center

41 Forever was the slogan of a beautiful ceremony where Mavs owner Mark Cuban presented a scale model of a statue with the traditional pose of Nowitzki attempting a long distance shot that will soon be outside the American Airlines Center, his home for 18 seasons.

But Dirk Nowitzki, who gave a speech in which he remembered his coaches, teammates, family and finally all the fans who gave him a standing ovation while some tears came to his eyes, was there before the team's own Arena, as he has the record of most seasons (21) and games (1,522) with a single team in the NBA becoming a legend of the game since he arrived in 1998 to the NBA with a Mavs that were at the bottom of the NBA.

His 31,419 points are the sixth most all-time and the highest total for a player not born in the United States.

He gave the Mavs their only championship

But the high point of the German giant's career came in 2011 when he gave Dallas its first, and so far only NBA championship, defeating the Miami Heat 4-2 in the Finals and being chosen as the undisputed MVP of the historic title.

In addition, Dirk was also the standard bearer who led Dallas to its first NBA Finals, which they lost to Miami 4-2 in 2006.

Nowitzki retired in the 2018-2019 season as the Mavs' all-time leader in games, seasons, points, rebounds, blocks, field goal shooting, three-point shooting and free throws.

Big name guests

Among those attending the ceremony were Commissioner Adam Silver, as well as Tyson Chandler, Peja Stojakovich, J.J. Barea and Jason Kidd, teammates with Nowitzki in the 2011 championship. Kidd is the current coach of the Mavericks.

Dirk Nowitzki.

Dirk Nowitzki.

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