Clippers coach Doc Rivers says hat tip to Dirk Nowitzki was unplanned
LA Clippers head coach Doc Rivers says he wasn’t planning on making a devotion to Mavs legend Dirk Nowitzki during Monday night’s game at Staples Center.
Nowitzki, now 40 years of age, is said to be playing in his last season. In lieu of this fact, Rivers felt the urge to recognize the NBA legend with a brief statement during the game:
“Let’s go!” Rivers said to the crowd after grabbing the mic at the scorers table. “Dirk Nowitzki: one of the greatest of all time.”
Before Rivers could finish his dedication to Nowitzki, the crowd rose to their feet for a resounding ovation:
Really heartwarming gesture by Doc Rivers to call a timeout late in the Clippers win, for the sole purpose of grabbing the mic to make the fans pay respects to Dirk Nowitzki pic.twitter.com/b8hfLsSBlu
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) February 26, 2019
During his postgame media availability, Rivers noted that he wanted to send Nowitzki off in proper style:
“I had a timeout,” Rivers said. “I didn’t plan it. I just felt like he deserved that. Against Miami, I thought we didn’t give Dwyane Wade the right sendoff. I wasn’t gonna let that happen again.”
Doc Rivers on getting #Mavs’ Dirk Nowitzki a standing ovation from the #Clippers crowd – “I had a timeout. I didn’t plan it. I just felt like he deserved that. Against Miami #Heat, I thought we didn’t give Dwyane Wade the right sendoff. I wasn’t gonna let that happen again.” pic.twitter.com/NZrUYb7rdm
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) February 26, 2019
The fact that Rivers dubbed Nowitzki as one of the greatest players of all time should come as no surprise. Der große Deutsche, as Nowitzki is known, has been an inspiration to countless players around the globe. In fact, his one-legged fadeaway is still imitated to this day.
Nowitzki’s legacy goes far beyond a signature shot, though. The former No. 9 overall pick is a 14-time All-Star, an NBA champion (2011) and a former league MVP (2007). And just for the record, he also has a great sense of humor.
All good things must come to an end, but the legacy Dirk is leaving behind will live on forever.