It will be a thrilling matchup of two of the NBA’s biggest stars on Wednesday as Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic face off. The Dallas Mavericks will host the Golden State Warriors at the American Airlines Center in what should be a very memorable evening.
For sure, Mavericks fans will especially remember the night, because aside from the matchup of Curry and Doncic, it will also be Dirk Nowitzki’s jersey retirement ceremony. While Doncic has been amazing, the Mavericks will forever be Nowitzki’s team.
Unfortunately for Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle, who mentored the Mavericks from 2009 to 2021, he won’t be around for the event since they have a game against the Brooklyn Nets. Carlisle rued missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime affair (via ESPN).
“I’m really disappointed that I’m unable to attend that (ceremony). It’s (going) to be so special. Dirk just means so much to so many of us and he proved to be a great champion as well. It’ll be very emotional.”
Carlisle helped steer the Mavericks to the NBA title in 2011 with Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Jason Terry, and Tyson Chandler leading the squad. They beat the highly favored Miami Heat featuring the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Nowitzki was named Finals MVP.
Nowitzki has always credited Carlisle for helping him build a Hall of Fame career. So even though the veteran tactician won’t be around for the Mavericks legend’s jersey retirement ceremony, he will always be an instrumental figure in his life.