In 2019, Dirk Nowitzki played in his final home game and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban promised to honor him with the “biggest, most badass statue ever”. Several years later, Cuban appears to have delivered on his promise as his state was hoisted in front of the American Airlines Center to honor the legend.
The Dirk statue: pic.twitter.com/xp0r3Ys6lq
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 25, 2022
“On Christmas morning, just moments before the nearly 24-foot-high statue was revealed near Nowitzki Way, Cuban told Nowitzki, ‘It’s a promise that brings me joy to fulfill because you deserve it.'”
The statue is a sculpture of Nowitzki’s most famous fadeaway shot, which he’s hit millions of times in his career. Many recognize that shot with one leg up fading away as the “The Dirk”. Many often forget that Nowitzki was one of the most gifted scorers in NBA history. In fact, before his career concluded he became the sixth NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
“After the Mavericks’ 124-115 victory over the Lakers, James praised Nowitzki’s statue, saying, ‘It had to be a fadeaway one-legger. No doubt about it. Dirk is a legend, an icon. I believe he’s the greatest international player ever, right up there with Manu Ginobili. But what he brought to this city, what he brought here… Dirk was exceptional.'”
What Does Dirk Nowitzki’s Statue Represent?
Naturally, Nowitzki took time to reflect on his career and the most memorable moments he had with the Dallas Mavericks. Once he described the two things that always help separate him from others his loyalty and his famous fadeaway shot, he knew what direction to take the statue in.
Nowitzki reflected, saying, “I thought about what Dallas identifies me with. It came down to the fadeaway and loyalty. So, we merged those two. It’s interesting that it turned out to be 21 letters, representing the 21 years.”