The Brooklyn Nets may have had a game of their own on Wednesday night against the Indiana Pacers, but head coach Steve Nash was asked about something involving a different team — and a different era — in his pregame presser.
That's because about 750 miles south, in Dallas, Nash's former teammate was getting the honor of a lifetime, and one that he deserved more than any other player to wear a Mavericks jersey.
Dirk Nowitzki and his No. 41 threads will forever become a part of the rafters at American Airlines Center, with a postgame ceremony serving as tribute for the all-time legend. For 21 years, Nowitzki toyed with opponents by deploying his signature one-legged fadeaway, picking up 14 All-Star nods, 12 All-NBA appearances, an MVP award and the sixth most points in league history along the way. Never mind Mavericks history; Nowitzki is one of the most deserving players in NBA history of a jersey retirement.
And it wasn't only his on-court production that left such a mark on the league, as Nash mentioned early on Wednesday night.
Nash played six seasons for the Mavericks from 1998 to 2004, joining the organization in Nowitzki's rookie season and serving as one half of what would soon become a devastating duo on the floor. In the final four seasons of that six-year stretch, the Mavericks went 222-106, making the playoffs each time and earning All-Star nods together in three of those campaigns.
With Nash already enshrined in the Hall of Fame, it won't be long until the two are together again, with Nowitzki's eligibility coming up in 2023. He ranks sixth in total points, eighth in defensive rebounds, 13th in three-point field goals, fourth in games played, eighth in total win shares and in the top ten of many other important statistical categories.
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