Dirk Nowitzki hung his basketball shoes up for good last spring, retiring from the NBA after spending his entire 21-year career with the Mavs. “Der Große Deutsche,” as he came to be known, left a lasting legacy in his wake, leading the team to a championship in 2011 and earning 14 All-Star nods along the way.
Such a legacy should be honored accordingly, and Mavs owner Mark Cuban is doing is best to do just that. However, timing is a bit of an issue.
According to a report from NBA.com, Cuban is contemplating the retirement of Nowitzki's No. 41 jersey as soon as this season. The only issue is the fact that Dallas is running out of home games in this campaign to hold such a ceremony:
“Dirk and I are discussing it,” Cuban told Mavs.com prior to Tuesday’s game between the Mavs and Golden State Warriors. “We’re trying to figure it out.”
“The challenge is just getting it all done just because it’s not a lot of home games left. It’s only like (19) home games left, so that’s the hard part.
“So we’re discussing it now whether it’ll be now or one of the first couple of games next year.”
Cuban doesn't want to stop there, though. He's also interested in building a statue in Nowitzki's likeness. No pun intended here, but the owner says “nothing is etched in stone” just yet:
“We’re also talking about hopefully being able to unveil a model for the statue at the beginning of next year as well,” the Mavs owner said. “So hopefully we can put the two together.
“Nothing is etched in stone yet, but we’re looking at it.”
Retiring Nowitzki's jersey would be a fitting tribute to one of the NBA's all-time greats. Let's see if it happens this season.