Life is ever changing, and as much as we’d like to hold onto things in our life, we eventually have to let them go. This is true for Dirk Nowitzki, the talented NBA star who is now retiring after an incredible 21 years playing for the Dallas Mavericks.
On the 9th of April, he made his retirement official, following a 30 point score at what would be his career’s last home game. The 40-year-old player was the only player who has ever played for a single franchise for 21 seasons. Because of this, Dallas city made sure they showed their love and support for one of their greatest power forwards of all time.
Nowitzki’s number was 41, and 21 was the number of years that he played for the team, therefore that’s the meaning behind “41.21.1”.
Nowitzki’s fans had their suspicions that he might retire at the end of the season following his development of crippling foot pain. Nevertheless, the celebrated the athlete’s 21 seasons of achievements with a mass of posters, signs, cheers, and overall enthusiasm.
“Thank you Dirk! Thank you Dirk,” they chanted just as the Mavericks took on their game against the Phoenix Suns at the American Airline Center.
There were a number of videos played on the JumboTron that highlighted Nowitzki’s greatest achievements, including him becoming the sixth-highest scoring player of all time. Not just that, but also throughout his career, the athlete earned the titles of 14-time All-Star and 12-time All-NBA Team member.
Naturally, Nowitzki was overcome by his fans’ outpour of love, but it was the team’s tribute video that moved him to tears. The emotional video revealed something that he’d kept very private from the public’s eye: his generous philanthropic side.
The video featured all the charity work he’s done over the years, including his regular patient visits at Children’s Medical Center where he’d always bring gifts. The public is only learning about this now because he’d always make a point to never allow cameras in.
“He shows up with such a whole heart. His empathy is amazing. He is humble. He is genuinely there to do whatever it takes to make that day better for that child and family,” said Keri Kaiser, the chief marketing and experience officer for the hospital.
Clearly, Nowitzki is a legend in many ways. Cheers to him on his retirement from a successful career and we have no doubt now that he’s got even more free time he’ll probably be doing even more nice things for people.