HomeNewsI wasn’t invited to Dirk Nowitzki jersey retirement ceremony

I wasn’t invited to Dirk Nowitzki jersey retirement ceremony

Don and Donnie Nelson. The general manager who acquired Nowitzki’s draft rights on the night of June 24, 1998, and Don’s assistant GM/son who was insistently bullish about raw 19-year-old Nowitzki’s NBA potential. The question is, why weren’t they there? Several sources on Friday night strongly pushed back on Don Nelson’s assertion earlier in the evening when he told The News: “I wasn’t invited. I really wanted to be there, but I didn’t feel that I should just show up without an invitation, so I didn’t.”
Source: Brad Townsend @ Dallas Morning News

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Brad Townsend @townbrad
Updating this: Two sources say Nelsons were invited to Nowitzki ceremony, despite Don Nelson’s comments to the contrary dallasnews.com/sports/maveric… – 12:13 AM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
Why weren’t the Nelsons at Dirk Nowitzki’s ceremony? Don says Mavs didn’t invite him dallasnews.com/sports/maveric… – 7:34 PM

Chris Biderman @TheWarriorsWire
On the night of his No. 41 jersey retirement in Dallas, members of the Warriors paid tribute to Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki. warriorswire.usatoday.com/2022/01/05/wat… – 1:00 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
Our (mostly) weekly mailbag. We take a look at Dirk memories (and that statue), plus COVID replacement players like Isaiah Thomas.
mavs.com/mavs-mailbag1-… – 8:28 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Ok Tatum…that was something. The Dirk one-legged fallaway. – 8:17 PM

Chris Biderman @TheWarriorsWire
On the night of his No. 41 jersey retirement in Dallas, members of the Warriors paid tribute to Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki. warriorswire.usatoday.com/2022/01/05/wat… – 8:00 PM

Sirius XM NBA @SiriusXMNBA
The legendary Dirk Nowitzki had his number retired by the @Dallas Mavericks last night.
Former Mavs guard @Derek Harper tells @Rick Kamla and @adaniels33 what made @Dirk Nowitzki so special. #MFFL pic.twitter.com/3nlvwun8pZ5:49 PM

Tim Cato @tim_cato
Dirk changed — he matured and grew, significantly and meaningfully — because that’s what people do. over those years, he changed us, too. but in all that time he was growing, he always stayed Dirk. that’s what his jersey retirement immortalized for me.
theathletic.com/3053955/2022/0… – 2:37 PM

Tas Melas @TasMelas
New pod in new studio: Dirk Nowitzki’s ceremony (and tiny statue), Kyrie Irving’s season debut, “Born Ready”, Lowry’s WTF ejection, Danny Green’s Snell tribute + more!
📼: https://t.co/oXlkka2I6O
🍎: https://t.co/XjSclyJYjS
✳️: https://t.co/YpCkqbnDWC
🅰️: https://t.co/v1qudKTb56 pic.twitter.com/9Z24GkdM6r12:52 PM

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds
This is an amazing story written last year by our friend @Brad Townsend about Dirk processing those very first moments when the Mavs beat Miami for the 2011 title. Truly great stuff (except the @tfrank14 parts, but I digress). #DirkForever
dallasnews.com/sports/maveric… – 11:51 AM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
National reactions to Dirk Nowitzki’s jersey retirement ceremony: ‘Wanna come back?’ dallasnews.com/sports/maveric… – 10:34 AM

Chris Biderman @TheWarriorsWire
On the night of his No. 41 jersey retirement in Dallas, members of the Warriors paid tribute to Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki. warriorswire.usatoday.com/2022/01/05/wat… – 10:01 AM

Tom Ziller @teamziller
Unless you were there to watch it, it’s hard to understand just how much skepticism there was among the loudest voices in the national media about Dirk until 2011. ziller.substack.com/p/the-biggest-… – 9:30 AM

Tim Cato @tim_cato
this is the best thing i shot last night. dirk forever. pic.twitter.com/fZeVa6qMhs8:38 AM

Shandel Richardson @ShandelRich
Amid jersey retirement, Dwyane Wade gives props to Dirk Nowitzki #miamiheat #dallasmavericks si.com/nba/heat/miami… – 7:30 AM

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
Kyrie’s return, Dirk’s jersey retirement, Milwaukee’s surprising decision to part company with Boogie Cousins, Becky Hammon’s looming exit to the WNBA and everything else happening in this league … let’s discuss Thursday at 1 PM ET in the @SpotifyGrnroom. See you there … – 1:41 AM

Brady Hawk @BradyHawk305
Caron Butler was in Dallas tonight for Dirk Nowitzki’s jersey retirement
Erik Spoelstra: “I told him you’ve got to do it,” but jokingly says he told him:
“That’s my least favorite team of all time, for obvious reasons.”
@5ReasonsSports1:05 AM

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds
Heat assistant Caron Butler was in Dallas tonight to be there for Dirk Nowitzki’s jersey retirement, with the Heat blessing.
“I told him you’ve got to do it,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he told Butler when they discussed if he should be in Dallas tonight. – 1:02 AM

Kurt Helin @basketballtalk
Watch full Dirk Nowitzki jersey-retirement ceremony nba.nbcsports.com/2022/01/06/wat… – 12:36 AM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
41 Forever: Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki’s jersey is forever immortalized in heartfelt ceremony dallasnews.com/sports/maveric… – 12:21 AM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Luka Doncic, Mavs extend season-long win streak by shutting down the West-best Warriors on Dirk Night dallasnews.com/sports/maveric… – 12:09 AM

Jeff Wade @SkinWade
I’m a very satisfied Dirk fan. Love that man… – 11:21 PM

Trey Kerby @treykerby
Dirk is frickin sweet. – 11:21 PM

The Ringer @ringernba
WE LOVE YOU DIRK pic.twitter.com/yOFu535UTa11:16 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
41 Forever, indeed. Lots of emotions for Dirk and his family. He thanked everybody, especially people behind the scenes. And even the media. – 11:14 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Dirk finishes his speech addressing Mavs fans: “Thank you for taking in a long, lanky kid over 20 years ago and making him one of your own. I’ll be always grateful.” – 11:11 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
Dirk thanks the last “pillar,” the fans. Long applause followed as Dirk got misty. Great ceremony. – 11:10 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Dirk thanking his father-in-law for coming in all the way from Sweden: “What I appreciate most about you is your daughter.”
This guy lol – 11:08 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Dirk referred to Rick Carlisle as “R-Sizzle” on first reference in his thank-you speech.
A 🐐 in more ways than one. – 10:59 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
Dirk thanks the “two Nelsons, Donnie and Don.” Thanked them for coming to Wurzburg to find him and meet his family and Holger. – 10:57 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Mark Cuban, his voice catching his whole speech: “I want everyone to see your greatness forever, Dirk.” – 10:50 PM

Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpears
Mark Cuban announces Dirk Nowitzki statue coming outside the Mavs’ arena. – 10:50 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
Really cool to see so many members of the Mavericks, former members and NBA folks in general to talk about Dirk. – 10:48 PM

Ohm Youngmisuk @NotoriousOHM
Steph Curry on Dirk: “An icon. Everyone talks about changing the game and he definitely did that… he opened up the gates for international players… just the art form of shooting the basketball with his height and touch, something no one has ever seen before.” – 10:42 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
“Thank you, for you being you,” Jason Kidd said of Dirk. Added that Dirk “knows what it means to work. Knows what it means to win.” – 10:39 PM

Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpears
Jason Kidd to Dirk: “We’re giving out 10 days. You want to come back?” Dirk said he good. – 10:38 PM

Willy Hernangomez @willyhg94
DIRK NOWITZKI 🐐🙌🏽 #41Forever pic.twitter.com/aKOpISUv7310:29 PM

StatMuse @statmuse
Most seasons ever with a single team.
Dirk forever. pic.twitter.com/cdIWxzYaIv10:28 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Dirk Nowitzki is announced to the court as “No. 41, forever in our hearts and in our minds” but I promise he’s still alive. – 10:24 PM

Dwain Price @DwainPrice
Mark Cuban repping Dirk tonight at his jersey retirement. pic.twitter.com/UBtABRrERq10:20 PM

Dwain Price @DwainPrice
The 41-piece Dallas Symphony Ochrestra is playing at Dirk’s jersey retirement. – 10:15 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
Mavericks’ defense outshines Curry, Warriors — 99-82 victory is their fourth win in a row and a nice setup for Dirk’s jersey retirement. Details here:
mavs.com/mavs-crank-up-… – 10:08 PM

Michael Dugat @mdug
Big win. Hope Luka is OK.
Bring on the Dirk greatness. – 10:02 PM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
Tonight’s attendance is 20,441. Of course more multitudes will claim to have been here when telling the grandkids about Dirk. – 9:39 PM

Connor Letourneau @Con_Chron
After taking a 63-56 lead, the Warriors gave up a 10-0 run to dig a three-point hole. Pretty raucous environment on Dirk night here in Dallas. – 9:22 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
Warriors off to a 15-6 surge to start the third quarter, closing the gap to 56-54. Timeout Mavs, which was an opportunity to show video clips of several Warriors players congratulating Dirk on the jersey retirement. Steph Curry among those to use the word “legendary.” – 9:06 PM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
Haven’t seen all of these folks yet, but Dirk’s “guest list/ticket requests” included Roger Staubach, Tony Romo, Tony Parker, ex-Mavs coach Avery Johnson. – 8:55 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
Dirk and Jessica Nowitzki presented with a check at halftime from Mark Cuban and Cynt Marshall for $250,000.41 for the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation.
Cuban pointed at the 41 cents, which got a nice laugh from Dirk. – 8:53 PM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
Dirk has arrived, just now taking the court with Mark Cuban and Cynt Marshall to accept $250,000 check from the Mavericks for the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation. – 8:52 PM

James Boyd @RomeovilleKid
‘He was an original’: #Pacers coach Rick Carlisle weighs in on Dirk Nowitzki’s jersey retirement indystar.com/story/sports/n… via @indystar8:46 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Mavs lead the Warriors 50-39 at half.
Jason Kidd might want to make every night Dirk Night. – 8:44 PM

The Vertical @YahooSportsNBA
Scottie Nowitzki? 😬🪣
pic.twitter.com/VzZUUclNJI8:39 PM

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
Dirk Nowitzki had nine seasons with at least 100 3PM, the most such seasons in NBA history by a player with a listed height of 7’0″ or taller:
9 – Nowitzki
5 – Channing Frye
4 – Brook Lopez
3 – Andrea Bargnani pic.twitter.com/Gn7Ym85v8R8:31 PM

Vivek Jacob @vivekmjacob
Scottie Dirk tribute?? – 8:17 PM

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
Dirk Nowitzki is one of only five players in NBA history to average at least 20 PPG on 50/40/90 shooting in a season:
🎯 Larry Bird, 1986-87 & 1987-88
🎯 Nowitzki, 2006-07
🎯 Kevin Durant, 2012-13
🎯 Stephen Curry, 2015-16
🎯 Kyrie Irving, 2020-21 pic.twitter.com/GdDAWuS8cd8:16 PM

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
On March 7, 2017, Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points in a win over the Lakers, becoming the sixth player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points.
Nowitzki ended his career with more points (31,560) than any other foreign-born player in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/iApljchD4F8:01 PM

Tim Cato @tim_cato
this game has thus far not been a tribute to the way dirk revolutionized shooting – 7:54 PM

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
On June 12, 2011, Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki had 21 points and 11 rebounds as the Mavericks beat the Heat 105-95 in Game 6 to claim their first NBA championship.
It remains the only title in franchise history. In fact, the Mavericks have not won a playoff series since. pic.twitter.com/uQWj5aDza77:46 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
Mavericks retiring Dirk’s jersey later. In other news, they first will try for their first four-game win streak of the season against the Warriors, who have the best record in the NBA at 29-7. – 7:37 PM

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
On May 17, 2011, Dirk Nowitzki set an NBA postseason record for most FTM in a game without a miss, sinking 24 in a 121-112 win over the Thunder.
The only player to match Nowitzki in any game, regular season or postseason, is James Harden (Dec. 3, 2019). pic.twitter.com/gnRxZtbWQr7:31 PM

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
On May 14, 2001, Dirk Nowitzki had 42 points, 18 rebounds, and six steals in a loss to the Spurs in Game 5 of the WCS.
Since the NBA started tracking steals in 1973-74, Nowitzki and Michael Jordan are the only players to record at least 40p/15r/5s in a postseason game. pic.twitter.com/ISXI2rzJ8K7:16 PM

Michael Dugat @mdug
This Dirk guy seems pretty great – 7:12 PM

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
On June 1, 2006, Dirk Nowitzki scored 50 points in a 117-101 win over the Suns in Game 5 of the WCF.
Nowitzki set a record for most points scored in a WCF game, a mark that still stands. He also owns the second-highest scoring game in WCF history (48, 2011). pic.twitter.com/VtqxIBe5QS7:01 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Luka warmed up in a Dirk shirt … and already got fouled by Draymond. pic.twitter.com/ODfREtWfCC6:57 PM

Ryan Wolstat @WolstatSun
Seems a pretty ironclad opinion these days that Dirk Nowitzki was best international NBA player ever, but I don’t think Hakeem Olajuwon is a wrong answer either. Maybe most underrated great player (Raptor days aside of course). – 6:35 PM

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
Dirk Nowitzki is the only player in NBA history to record at least 10,000 rebounds and 1,000 3PM.
He’s one of only four players in NBA history to record at least 1,000 3PM, 1,000 steals, and 1,000 blocks. The others are LeBron James, Clifford Robinson, and Rasheed Wallace. pic.twitter.com/pGodz0EtRR6:31 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Steve Nash on his pal Dirk Nowitzki, who gets his number retired tonight: “His career speaks for itself.” – 6:10 PM

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon
Steve Kerr, wearing a golden 41 pin, calls Dirk “the greatest international player of all-time” and says it’s “incredibly meaningful” for the Warriors to be part of the #41Forever festivities. pic.twitter.com/NieViuM6Va6:04 PM

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater
Steve Kerr wearing a ‘41’ pin tonight in Dallas as part of Dirk Nowitzki night pic.twitter.com/Rt7ToGvIDo6:04 PM

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
Dirk Nowitzki is the @Dallas Mavericks all-time leader in:
🥇 GP
🥇 GS
🥇 3PM
🥇 3PA
Nowitzki scored almost 1,000 more points (31,560) than the next two closest players in franchise history combined (30,573). pic.twitter.com/fBv1iDVucl6:01 PM

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon
Jason Kidd: “When you talk about Dirk, two things stand out: work and win. Those are the only things he cared about. … Luka has the perfect big brother mentor.” – 5:59 PM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
How will Jason Kidd and the Mavericks juggle the emotions of playing the Warriors and 8 minutes later honoring Dirk? pic.twitter.com/N7X1xm5Xy65:58 PM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
Kidd honoring Dirk in an amusing way. pic.twitter.com/7fbai246TF5:52 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Jason Kidd joked (it’s a joke!) that Dirk is health and safety protocols like so many current Mavs, so he’s filling in for tonight. pic.twitter.com/MIc8avS0ma5:51 PM

Tim Cato @tim_cato
it’s dirk day pic.twitter.com/erKye7KSLj5:51 PM

Jeff Wade @SkinWade
“I should be the MVP as always” –
Dirk Nowitzki on his own performance, interviewed in between pitches at the Heroes Game sometime in the past – 5:51 PM

Ryan McDonough @McDNBA
I’ll remember Dirk Nowitzki posting up – usually from the elbow or the wing – surveying the defense with a spread floor
Dirk’s size and release point made it impossible to bother his shot, especially when he faded away
He and Jason Terry mastered the 1-4/4-1 pick and rolls too! pic.twitter.com/a6WZBqe9n25:42 PM

Sean Highkin @highkin
Back when the Warriors played at Oracle, they preserved the hole Dirk punched in the wall during the 2007 playoffs behind glass. He even autographed it for them pic.twitter.com/o3IZZoXhe45:37 PM

Eurohoops @Eurohoopsnet
Dirk Nowitzki fights back tears while talking about his relationship with Mavericks fans
eurohoops.net/en/nba-news/12… – 5:06 PM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
Fans lining up to see Dirk memorabilia a full hour before doors open to the public. pic.twitter.com/TnQQjEucvm5:02 PM

Malika Andrews @malika_andrews
Dirk Nowitzki’s jersey will be retired in Dallas tonight. @CassidyHubbarth will be on the sidelines. She stopped by NBA Today with details on the jersey ceremony: pic.twitter.com/A7dlgbyOx75:00 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
The calm before the Dirk Night storm. pic.twitter.com/e1UuoX4Kpi4:54 PM

Matt Williams @StatsWilliams
The Mavericks are retiring Dirk Nowitzki’s jersey tonight against the Warriors.
He made 5,683 mid-range field goals in his career, by far the most since shot location data was first tracked in 1996-97.
Kevin Garnett has the next most during that span with 4,816. – 3:02 PM

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
Dirk Nowitzki’s jersey retirement comes with a bonus for this old sap: Stephen Curry will be in the building, too, doubling count of game-changers on hand.
My piece with the game’s greatest shooter on what Steph studied from its sweetest-shooting big man: marcstein.substack.com/p/a-summit-of-… – 2:21 PM

Mark Followill @MFollowill
The NBA has done a great job of telling the story of each of the players on the 75th Anniversary Team and if you haven’t seen the one on Dirk, here you go. Every minute of tonight’s postgame jersey retirement ceremony will be aired on BSSW #MFFL #41Forever nba.com/watch/video/75… – 2:18 PM

Michael C. Wright @mikecwright
Lots of great old footage of Dirk Nowitzki in this 75th archive piece: nba.com/news/archive-7… – 1:42 PM

Casey Holdahl @CHold
In honor of @Dirk Nowitzki‘s jersey retirement, here’s @CJ McCollum putting Dirk in the spin cycle in what I consider the best crossover I’ve seen in person pic.twitter.com/qfCn1UIzVw1:19 PM

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater
The Warriors were the opponent for Kobe’s retirement ceremony in LA a few years back. They’re in Dallas for Dirk’s retirement tonight.
Here’s Kevon Looney on facing Dirk and attending Kobe’s night pic.twitter.com/Hbca01Xk081:04 PM

Tim Cato @tim_cato
Dirk’s earliest catch phrases came from rap songs. he learned over time how to talk trash to KG. he sung welcomes to new teammates in Dallas. he told defenders how to guard him.
on his jersey retirement day, stories on my favorite athlete ever: theathletic.com/3051137/2022/0… – 12:51 PM

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
Posting two special pieces of Dirk Nowitzki content today as his No. 41 is retired. Until then …
On Becky Hammon’s looming exit to the WNBA: marcstein.substack.com/p/hammon-took-…
On BlackBerrys being VERY much alive (with a scary NBA Trade Deadline story attached): marcstein.substack.com/p/guess-what-m… – 11:59 AM

Dwain Price @DwainPrice
Brad Davis, Rolando Blackman and Derek Harper are the only ex members of the @Dallas Mavericks who have had their jersey retired by the Mavs. Those 3 reflect on their jersey retirement ceremony leading up to tonight’s jersey retirement of Dirk Nowitzki. @NBA
https://t.co/boiq6d1nK8 pic.twitter.com/Jul7yiU5Nw11:57 AM

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon
Dirk Nowitzki, the epitome of NBA loyalty, did once abandon his team. He reluctantly “snuck out” on the Wurzburg X-Rays, bolting for a basketball audition in America. That led to his forever run in Dallas, which will be honored tonight when 41 is retired. es.pn/2YtKCPO – 11:43 AM

Jeff Stotts @InStreetClothes
It honor of 41 going to the rafters here is my look at the injuries that defined Dirk’s career: UNBREAKABLE: A RETROSPECTIVE LOOK AT THE INJURY HISTORY OF DIRK NOWITZKI instreetclothes.com/2019/04/09/unb… – 11:21 AM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Happy Dirk Day to all of y’all who observe!
I wonder what shoe design Luka has cooked up for Mavs-Warriors tonight.
This is what he wore for Dirk’s last home game in April 2019 — before he switched to Jordan Brand.
📸: @vernonbryant/@dallasnews pic.twitter.com/e8Pky7nBDO10:46 AM

Jeff Wade @SkinWade
Holy Effing Dirk, y’all ready? – 10:26 AM

Chuck Cooperstein @coopmavs
When Mavs schedule came out I was so looking forward to tonight. I love watching/calling GS games & the joy they play with. Then when it was decided this would be Dirk’s jersey retirement night..Oh man…But it’s not to be. CoVid will keep me out of @aacenter tonight. #CoVidsucks9:58 AM

More on this storyline

“I read about what [Nowitzki] said,” Nelson said. “That was nice. I don’t think Dirk had any decisions about who was there. I think that’s all an organization thing. Mark Cuban’s in charge of that, I’m sure.” A source told The News that Cuban was not in charge of the invite list. That was done by an event planner. There was a three-page spreadsheet of guests for whom Nowitzki requested tickets, but more than 60 were unable to make it to Dallas because of canceled airline flights that day or COVID-19 concerns. -via Dallas Morning News / January 8, 2022

Not true, said two sources. Both said Nowitzki personally contacted the Nelsons to invite them to the game and ceremony. Both sources wondered why Nelson is saying otherwise. -via Dallas Morning News / January 8, 2022

“I was told Donnie was going to show up,” Cuban said. “But I haven’t talked to either of them so I have no idea what the deal was.” -via Dallas Morning News / January 8, 2022

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