The statue of Dirk Nowitzki now serves as a herald of entry to Victory Plaza in front of the American Airlines Center. The Dallas Mavericks capitalized on the opportunity for a signature moment for the franchise with dignity, grace, and just a touch of well-deserved swagger. The ceremony was succinct, classy, and memorable.
Mark Followill’s dulcet baritone was the perfect vocal instrument for a ceremony that will be replayed for decades. Everyone from head coach Jason Kidd to Mavs owner Mark Cuban was sincere in their love and admiration for the Big German. Omri Amrany and his team have every reason to be proud of their work. The statue is resplendent without being gaudy. It captures Dirk’s signature shot as he launches an indelible rainbow jumper into the heavens.
Nowitzki’s remarks ended with the phrase which is engraved on the statue’s base, “Loyalty Never Fades Away”. Twenty-one letters for twenty-one years. The loyalty between the player, the franchise, and the city is something we have never seen before around these parts. In his post-ceremony interview, Dirk talked about how perfect the morning turned out to be. “Felt like the sun was just perfect today, shining right on it. I’m so happy my family was here to witness it. My parents are still alive to see it. It was a very, very cool day and I enjoyed it.”
Now, when you face the front entry of the American Airlines Center, you’ll see Dirk forever captured in time off on the right wing. I couldn’t help but think based on the placement how perfect a step-back jack from the left wing might look as a fairy tale bookend on the other side of the plaza. There is a lot of Luka Doncic’s story left to experience yet after seeing the first half of an organizational fairy tale conclude today, is it too much to ask if we wish for the current era to have a similar arc and matching statue to boot?