In January, the Dallas Mavericks immortalized Dirk Nowitzki's No. 41 by retiring it into the American Airlines Center rafters. In September, Nowitzki will receive international recognition for his legendary career, as the German national team will retire his No. 14 at EuroBasket 2022.
Nowitzki will become the first German national team player to ever have his number retired.
"So I played with No. 14 in Germany. When I actually started playing basketball, I had No. 11, and then I saw Charles Barkley wearing No. 14 in the Olympics in '92 in Barcelona," Nowitzki explained to NBA.com.
"And I loved Charles at the time as well, so I switched to No. 14. I was actually going to take No. 14 in Dallas, but Robert Pack, at the time, had No. 14, and he didn't want to give the number up to a rookie. So then I ended up flipping the numbers and it became No. 41."
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Mavs fans already had plenty of reasons to be excited about EuroBasket play. Luka Doncic will lead Slovenia as they look to defend their EuroBasket title from 2017, second-year Maverick Frank Ntilikina will be playing for France, and the latest two-way contract signee, Tyler Dorsey, is suiting up with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Greece.
Now, we all get the added pleasure of witnessing another Nowitzki jersey retirement. The German national team has its work cut out for them, though, because it’s going to be hard to beat the show Mavs owner Mark Cuban put on for Nowitzki earlier this year.
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