Dirk Nowitzki announced his retirement and played his final basketball game after a record 21 seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. Nowitzki established a legendary career piling up accolades of all degrees along the way.
While the Big German didn’t officially announce this season as his last, it was widely expected he would hang it up, and fans at every arena took the opportunity to send off one of the most influential players in league history with standing ovations and roars of applause each time Dirk took the floor.
As the league has processed Nowitzki’s announcement, players and organizations of all sectors have taken the time to celebrate Dirk’s historic career.
One of Dirk’s earliest running mates and best friend Steve Nash expressed a gamut of emotions reflecting on Dirk’s career:
Heavy mix of happiness, pride, admiration and anxiety watching @swish41 play his last game in Dallas. What a story he wrote. person. Thank you brother!— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) April 10, 2019
Olympic gold medalist Nastia Lukin reminisced on meeting Dirk before she won the all-around gold medal in 2008:
Congratulations on an incredible career @swish41!!! You’ve made DALLAS proud forever! I will never forget meeting you for the first time the morning before I won the all-around gold medal at the 2008 Olympics. Think you brought me some luck that day :) @dallasmavs pic.twitter.com/kn2ijtATJa— Nastia Liukin (@NastiaLiukin) April 10, 2019
Hall-of-Fame running back and Dallas Cowboy’s legend Emmitt Smith shared what Dirk meant to Dallas:
Speaking of the city of Dallas:
Other sports teams expressed their appreciation for Dirk, who’s influence has clearly spread further than just basketball:
Nike put together a few inspiring and creative pieces to commemorate Dirk:
Noted basketball fan and former president Barack Obama sent his congratulations:
From a big NBA fan, congrats to future Hall of Famers Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki—not just all-time greats but class acts, too.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 11, 2019
Even Bill Clinton took to Twitter to appreciate Dirk!
And congratulations Dirk Nowitzki. You deserve our sincere thanks for being an incredible international ambassador of the game and a world-class human being. Can’t wait to see your next chapter too.— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) April 10, 2019
Shaqtin’ a Fool took a light-hearted approach, but if anyone would appreciate this kind of delivery, it would definitely be Dirk:
Finally, players of all eras tweeted out their congratulations, respects and admiration to one of the game’s pioneers:
It was an honor to share the court with you for 8 seasons your legacy will live on forever. @swish41 you played every game as if it where your last and when the “burgers didn’t have it and your best was needed most you always delivered. Because of you I am a Champion. Thank you pic.twitter.com/6sJkAeeP9v— Jason Terry (@jasonterry31) April 11, 2019
Dirk, congrats on a remarkable career. You helped elevate the game globally and were a great ambassador of the @nba. Good memories of our @spurs @dallasmavs battles. Hopefully you didn’t score on this one. Enjoy the next stage! pic.twitter.com/7pQARKSOkl— David Robinson (@DavidtheAdmiral) April 11, 2019
I'm so happy I got to compete against you and even luckier that I got to know you. As a young kid from Finland who always looked up to you, this jersey means a lot to me. Thank you for everything you've done for the game @swish41!! pic.twitter.com/aikIJ7OlAi— Lauri Markkanen (@MarkkanenLauri) April 10, 2019
My first NBA game back in Dec 2006, I was 17 and I had the chance to meet the (I look so happy )— Nicolas Batum (@nicolas88batum) April 10, 2019
Congrats legend and “DANKE” for what you’ve done for the game. pic.twitter.com/1CGzPpWQnH
It’s clear Dirk was admired and respected to the highest degree and he deserves every bit of recognition he has received. And these posts only scratch the surface. Search “Dirk” on Twitter and find that many other players, businesses, teams, etc. admired Dirk and his contributions as a player and person.
So, like many have said, thank you, Dirk. Basketball is a better game because of you.