When I first heard the Mavericks were planning some amazing surprises for Dirk’s probable final home game, I kind of assumed that Dirk wouldn’t let them do that unless this was it.
Turns out, I was right. I’m not happy I was right. But what an amazing tribute it was.
AAC says thank you
The tributes started the minute Dirk arrived at American Airlines Center, and this amazing greeting of American Airlines Center employees set the tone for what would be an emotional evening.
there were literally hundreds of mavs and arena employees lined up to welcome Dirk to tonight’s game pic.twitter.com/oyr9J9tbO7— Tim Cato (@tim_cato) April 9, 2019
Dirk gets his friends into the starting lineup (I assume)
I’m pretty sure they just let Dirk decide the starting lineup tonight because Devin Harris, Luka Doncic, Dwight Powell, Justin Jackson and Dirk is just odd. But who cares. If Dirk wanted some buddies in the starting lineup, that’s fine, he can have anything he wants except maybe my firstborn child.
Uncle Dirk is the absolute best
Anyone who has followed Dirk over the years knows that he’s very private about his annual visits to Dallas Children’s around the holidays. A couple years back, he finally let Dallas Morning News reporter Brad Townsend write this tearjerker of a story, which I revisit probably once a year.
Brad surprised Dirk with this amazing video chronicling maybe the most wonderful thing Dirk does every year:
And it was a moment that actually moved Dirk to tears on the court.
Dirk overcome with emotion after one of the tribute videos pic.twitter.com/xUyH7QPLsj— Nick Angstadt (@NickVanExit) April 10, 2019
Dirk gets silly
Anyone who has been around AAC knows that Dirk is a (seemingly) very willing participant in all the Mavericks’ amazing and hilarious feature videos, and the team let us have a moment of Dirk levity in all of the seriousness:
The NBA pays tribute
The Mavericks I’m pretty sure got literally everyone in the NBA to say nice things about Dirk for this video. LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Charles Barkley, Tyson Chandler (MISS YOU FOREVER), Paul George, Gregg Popovich, Shaq, Holger, his lovely wife Jessica. Pretty incredible.
And of course, a dunk
Because you always gotta hang on the rim one more time.
Dirk throws it down AND HANGS ON THE RIM! pic.twitter.com/za1IfEBH1R— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) April 10, 2019
Most of us already know that Dirk organizes his celebrity baseball game every summer — called Dirk’s Heroes — but this night, the Mavericks surprised him with some heroes of his own. After tricking Dirk into recording a video about his own heroes, they then brought them out for reals. Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, Detlef Schrempf, and Shawn Kemp all paid tribute to the Mavericks GOAT.
Dirk seemed to not only be touched, but had a lot of fun with it after the game:
Dirk on what he was doing after the postgame celebration before meeting the media: "I just had a beer with Charles and the guys in the back"— Mike Peasley (@PeasESPN) April 10, 2019
Forever a Texan
Dirk took the mic one last time during the postgame ceremony after announcing his retirement, to remind the crowd of an important thing: that he’s not going anywhere.
“I left Germany over 20 years ago and became a Texan.”
And then he left the court. How dare he.