Dirk Nowitzki received an epic honor from the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday as the Mavs unveiled his statue outside the American Airlines Arena. It was a fitting occasion to pay homage to the greatest player in franchise history as the Mavs hosted LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in a Christmas day showdown.

For his part, Dirk conceded that he looks up to LeBron at this point in his career. James is doing some pretty insane things at 38 years old — things that not even Nowitzki himself can imagine himself doing during his 20th season with the Mavs:

“I’m in awe of what he does in Year 20,” Nowitzki says. “I mean, in Year 20, the team was kind of carrying me up and down in a wheelbarrow or something.”

That’s actually hilarious. To be fair, Dirk was still relatively effective during his 20th season with the Mavs. He averaged 12.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 24.7 minutes per game, while also connecting on 1.8 triples per contest on a 40.9 percent clip.

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LeBron, on the other hand, is currently putting up averages of 27.4 points on 49.3 percent from the field, 8.2 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 1.2 steals, and 2.2 triples per contest.

Be that as it may, the Lakers are having another forgettable year. Not even LeBron’s heroics have been enough to carry this team to a .500 record. For Dirk, though, LeBron James’ willingness to remain in LA speaks volumes of his loyalty and his commitment to the cause:

“It comes with sticking with the program, and not leaving when times are tough,” Nowitzki says. “[James] decided to stay there and make it work, and it’s part of the gig. You got to fight through some tough times and find ways to use your experience to turn the situation around.”

Dirk Nowitzki knows a thing or two about loyalty, so it goes without saying that he’s an authority on this matter.