Dirk Nowitzki will forever be linked to Dallas.
And now his name is ingrained in the fabric of the city.
The Mavericks’ legend helped officially unveil Nowitzki Way next to American Airlines Center on Wednesday during an, at times, emotional ceremony. The Dallas City Council approved the move last spring. Nowitzki retired in April after 21 seasons in the NBA.
“This is about my relationship with this city, this community,” Nowitzki said. “That’s really what this is about to me.”
He was as humorous and self-deprecating as ever.
“My first year, the city wouldn’t have named a dumpster after me, much less a street,” he joked during a ceremony inside the AAC.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle wore the same suit and tie that he wore the night Dallas won the NBA championship in 2011. He told the crowd gathered for the ceremony that he was waiting for an appropriate moment to wear the suit again.
Later, the party moved outside for the street sign unveiling. A section of Olive Street was renamed to honor the future Hall of Famer. Nowitzki was lifted up to unveil the sign for the first time as a marching band played.