Dallas Mavericks Unveil Statue Honoring Dirk Nowitzki

December 25, 2022

In 2019, after Dirk Nowitzki played his final home game with the Dallas Mavericks, team governor Mark Cuban said, “I promise you, we will put the biggest, most badass statue ever, and we’ll put it right in front of the arena.” Over three years later, Cuban and the Mavericks made good on that promise.

In a ceremony held steps away from Nowitzki Way, the street near the American Airlines Center named after the Mavericks legend, team personnel, current and former Dallas players, local officials and hundreds of fans gathered on a chilly Christmas morning. They all watched as Nowitzki’s statue was unveiled.

“What would this day, this huge honor be without having my family here,” Nowitzki said during the unveiling ceremony. “Thank you guys for coming all this way, for all this support. This is also for you guys. I think what makes this so special is we have three generations of Nowitzkis here today. This thing will be here long after we are gone, and other generations can come here and be proud.”

Work on the statue has been underway for a couple of years, at least. Nowitzki and his personal coach and mentor, Holger Gerschwinder, worked with artist Omri Amrany to capture Nowitzki’s signature one-legged fadeaway jump shot.

“We started with the understanding of what the fadeaway shot mean[s] on the human anatomy,” Amrany said in a video shown during the ceremony. ”We are provid[ing] the expression of the human anatomy into the metal. We mainly focus on the elimination of gravity. You do all of the above with a very good crew of artists that you train, and they become masters themselves.”

During his 21-year career with the Mavericks, Nowitzki set nearly every franchise record and rose through the ranks of the NBA record books. He is the sixth-highest scorer in league history, the highest-scoring foreign-born player in NBA history, a 14-time NBA All-Star, a 12-time All-NBA selection, an MVP, a Finals MVP and an NBA Champion.

The statute is a fitting tribute to Nowitzki’s career and legacy. As a finishing touch, an inscription on the sculpture embodies all that Nowitzki represents to the franchise and the city that supported him for two decades.

“I’m going to leave you guys with the motto it says right there on the side under my name, on the side of the base,” Nowitzki said, pointing to his bronze likeness. “It is actually 21 letters for 21 years, and I think it sums up my career here for the Dallas Mavericks perfectly. It says, ‘Loyalty never fades away.’”

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