Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki hasn’t officially announced his retirement, but everyone knows it’s coming soon. That’s why the 40-year-old star was awarded a special spot in the 2019 NBA All-Star Game and why Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers pulled off one of the classiest moves late Monday night.
While many were asleep, the Clippers took down the Mavericks 121-112. However, with 9.4 seconds remaining, Rivers literally stopped the game with a timeout, grabbed the public address announcer’s microphone, and made sure everyone remaining inside the Staples Center gave Nowitzki a standing ovation to honor his legendary career.
“One of the greatest of all time,” Rivers said. “Dirk Nowitzki.”
The crowd absolutely erupted and the moment will undoubtedly give you the chills.
Seriously, how cool is that? Doc Rivers has created plenty of special moments as a player and coach and this one has to be up near the top. Not to mention, it wasn’t even planned. What a classy move.
“It was one of the greatest things I’ve seen,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “I know there will be more moments similar to that, but this was an original. I’ve never seen something like this.”
For the Clippers coach to stop a game that was already all but over to honor one of the game’s best ever is next-level amazing, and you better believe Nowitzki, a 14-time NBA All-Star, soaked it all in.
“It was sweet. I’m really appreciative. At first, I was like, ‘Why is Doc calling a timeout? What’s he doing with [9.4] seconds left? What’s he up to?’ Then he grabbed the mic. I didn’t really understand much, but that was really humbling. That was an emotional moment.”
— Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki via ESPN
It was a milestone night for Nowitzki from start to finish. Sure, the Mavs lost, but it marked the 1,500th NBA game for the 7-footer from Germany. Naturally, after scoring 12 points and grabbing five rebounds, he kept the game ball.
Only Robert Parish, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and John Stockton have played more games in NBA history, according to ESPN.
There’s no doubt everyone will begin to honor the future Hall of Famer with just 20 games to go and Dallas out of the playoff race, but, man, this is just too cool not share.