Dirk Nowitzki's jersey gets retired: 'It was an unforgettable journey'

2022-09-01 20:05

Dirk Nowitzki thanked his former teammates and all basketball fans in his jersey's retirement ceremony before the match between Germany and France.

Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Before the EuroBasket 2022 game between Germany and France, Dirk Nowitzki's #14 jersey was retired in front of thousands of German fans in Cologne.

FIBA president Hamane Niang, the German Basketball Federation's president Ingo Weiss as well as many others congratulated the former player on his achievements and the role he played in international basketball.

"This is a huge honor. I always loved playing for the national team and I always gave my all," Nowitzki said. "Nearly the entire team from 2002 is here. That’s important and I thank them for always accepting me for who I am. I respect them and all my former teammates. Without them, nothing would have been possible."

"Thanks for coming all this way. It means a lot. You always supported me in playing every summer. You knew it was important for me to represent the country and I really appreciate that," the Dallas Mavericks legend continued.

Nowitzki played in 153 international games for Germany, guiding the team to second place at the EuroBasket 2005 and third place at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2002 - taking home Most Valuable Player trophies from both events.

"I would like to thank all of you, the fans," Nowitzki told. "It was for me an unforgettable journey. So many of you traveled to big events and supported us. And you always supported us in games here. It was an unforgettable journey with you and I want to thank you."

The 44-year-old Nowitzki last played for Germany at EuroBasket 2015 in Berlin and retired from the NBA in April 2019 after 21 years with the Mavericks, a team he led to its only NBA title in 2011.

Now, no other player on the German national team will wear no. 14 again.


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