Few players have meant as much to a franchise as Dirk Nowitzki has to the Dallas Mavericks. As the only player to spend 21 seasons with the same franchise, Nowitzki and the Mavericks have become synonymous with one another. Since walking away from the game at the end of the 2019 season, Nowitzki has remained a staple for the franchise.
With a first-ballot Hall of Fame enshrinement imminent, Nowitzki's place in the NBA record books is already well-written. Before the legend eligible for the Hall in 2023, however, he will receive another great honor: a statue outside of the American Airlines Center. According to reports, the statue will be unveiled prior to the team's home game on Christmas. The Mavs will host the LA Lakers that day.
The news was broken this week by Mavericks reporter Landon Thomas, who didn't reveal any further details about the statue or any other festivities.
Can Doncic, Mavericks recreate Nowitzki's magic?
Even though it has been several years since Dirk Nowitzki played for the Dallas Mavericks, the legend's presence can still be felt in the city. From frequent appearances at games to being named an ambassador for the league, the NBA legend is rarely out of sight for long.
With his longstanding relationship with Luka Doncic, many expected the Dallas great to be in attendance at the Christmas Day game already. However, the news regarding the unveiling of his statue all but seals the deal.
Both the Christmas Day game and the season ahead will see Nowitzki's mentee, Luka Doncic, look to elevate himself to his level. Doncic and the team are seeking a breakout year and a push to the NBA Finals.
On the heels of the Mavericks' comeback from trailing 2-0 against the Phoenix Suns to reach the Western Conference finals, hope is high in Dallas. Although the team may not boast one of the strongest rosters, fans have pointed out that when Nowitzki led Dallas to the NBA championship in 2011, the roster wasn't loaded, either.
With Doncic entering the season in game shape following an impressive run in FIBA, many believe this could be the young Mavericks year to win the West. Aided by a bolstered roster that includes Christian Wood and JaVale McGee, the team could finally replicate some of the success Nowitzki found.
As the days until the start of the season tick away, fans are eager to see how the team looks against their bitter rivals – the Suns – on Wednesday in the opener.
Given how close we are to the start of the season, we want to hear from you. Do you think the Mavericks will finally have a breakout year? Sound off in the comments section below.
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