Updated 12/08/2023 11:19 AM
Four years after ending his impressive career, Dirk Nowitzki has been inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
© dpa / Jessica Hill / AP / dpa
Dirk Nowitzki doesn’t like being the center of attention, but he still looks forward to a weekend getaway on the East Coast of the United States.
Four years after the end of his impressive career
“It’s been a lot about me in the past few years,” said Germany’s most successful basketball player before receiving the biggest accolade in his field: induction into the Hall of Fame, the Naismith Hall of Fame named after the inventor of the sport.
“For me, it’s an amazing cake. I’m really looking forward to Springfield. It’s going to be a crazy week with friends and families from all over the world,” Nowitzki said recently in a video session with German journalists. On August 11, the 45-year-old from Würzburg will receive the traditional hoodie and Hall of Fame ring, and the next day he will be officially admitted to Springfield.
The letter is already in place
Würzburger had already decided on blue as his suit color. The letter is already confirmed, on paper at least, when it travels to the US East Coast in the coming days. No German had gone down this path before him, as now the Spaniard Pau Gasol and the Frenchman Tony Parker from Europe have succeeded in it. Both are worthy NBA pros – but they just couldn’t put a stamp on the big league like Nowitzki.
Nowitzki, whose iconic backhand throw not only served as the model for a giant statue in Dallas but changed the entire sport for years before that, left a deep mark on the NBA. He led the Mavericks to the first and only championship in their history, was the first European to be named the league’s Most Valuable Player and is number six on the all-time leading scorer list.
Wagner: “Horizons broadened”
Current German internationals have highlighted Nowitzki’s leading role. “It’s a world away for us here in Europe, the NBA. It showed us that anything is possible,” said Moritz Wagner. Nowitzki “broadened the horizons of the Germans, who sometimes look a little straight.” Dennis Schroeder said that the 45-year-old represented German basketball at the highest level in the United States.
Because of all these accomplishments, there’s a street in Dallas that bears his name, as does the statue in front of the American Airlines Center, and in the arena his jersey number 41 under the roof, which no other Mavericks player will ever wear again. . As the festivities piled up, friends would ask him: Should we go back and celebrate you? He stated that it was all “too much” – yet it demonstrates the importance of being inducted into the Hall of Fame, something German sports fans find difficult to comprehend.
“It’s a really, really big moment,” Nowitzki said. “There’s nothing like it in Germany, but since I moved, I realize how huge it really is.” During his career, he followed the tirades of Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, the absolute icons for every basketball fan. So once again friends, former colleagues, rivals and comrades will stand with Nowitzki on Sunday night in Germany. “More than 150 of my staff will come. I also see this as the end of all the festivities and I hope things calm down a little later and there are no more big things to do.”
“the top of the mountain”
For Dirk Nowitzki, being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame marks the end of an entire chapter in his life. “There is nothing else that can come in a basketball career,” the 45-year-old from Würzburg said at the press conference the day before the party on the east coast of the United States. “The Hall of Fame is the top of the mountain, it ends this phase of my life.”
Frenchman Tony Parker, who, like Nowitzki, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday night in Germany, spoke with the greatest respect for his longtime foe. “Dirk paved the way. I always say that Dirk is the goat for all European players. He showed that teams can trust European players as players of excellence.” Goat is the English acronym for “The Greatest of All Time”. “I was so honored to do that,” Nowitzki said. “When I can help and inspire others, I feel so happy.”
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