Dallas Mavericks

Dirk says ‘Hose me down!’ before water cannon salute at Love Field

Dallas Mavericks

Dirk Nowitzki deserves all the tributes he has received and will continue to receive after retiring from the NBA Wednesday night.

The Dallas Mavericks’ legend and eventual first-ballot Hall of Famer got one final tribute while still an active Mavs’ player when the team plane was given a water cannon salute at Love Field Wednesday night after arriving from San Antonio.

Nowitzki sat in the cockpit with the two pilots as the plane made its way down the tarmac and between two firetrucks shooting water over either side. Mavs’ teammates, coaches and staff gave a round of applause after the tribute as Nowitzki beamed with appreciation.

“Hose me down,” he said as the plane approached the water. “Yeees. That was very sweet. How did that tradition come about?”

The pilots weren’t sure, but did explain to Nowitzki that it’s a typical tribute to retiring pilots, heads of state … and NBA legends.

And if you needed another example of Nowitzki, the relatable superstar, he asked something most of us would wonder if we were sitting in the cockpit with a couple of pilots.

“Do you guys really know what every button means in here,” he asked.

The captain assured Nowitzki that he did.

Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki hit the last shot of his career, an 18-foot jumper from the top of the key with 46 seconds remaining.

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.