I never thought he’d say it tonight, but here we are.
In an emotional postgame tribute to Dirk Nowitzki after the Mavericks’ final home game, the Big German announced what many have suspected was coming for this entire season.
“This is my last home game,” he said, fighting back tears as he addressed a full American Airlines Center.
We’ll never know if the Mavericks knew this announcement was coming (I suspect they did), or planned the postgame festivities just in case, but there was never a more perfect way for our hero to go out. In front of his heroes: Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird, Detlef Schrempf. With his former championship teammates, Jason Terry and Shawn Marion. With Rick Carlisle and his daughter Abby giving the best tributes.
Like many of you, I watched every shot in this game and reveled in every possession. The greatest Maverick got all the shots tonight, had 30 points (matching Dwyane Wade - lol) and it was ridiculous fun to watch them force the ball to him all night long.
We knew it might be the end, we’ve known that all season. But I wasn’t emotionally prepared for it tonight.
Dirk was, though, and he knew exactly what to say to the city of Dallas: “I’ll never be gone, I’ll stay here. This is my new home...I left Germany over 20 years ago and became a Texan.”
We love you forever, Dirk.