Dirk Nowitzki’s signature one-legged fadeaway has now been immortalized in bronze.
Unveiled Christmas at a ceremony prior to the Dallas Mavericks’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers, the 23-foot high statue in front of American Airlines Center honors the greatest player in franchise history who arrived as a 20-year old from Ge
rmany in 1998 and ended his career with 31,560 points – the sixth-most in NBA history —12 All-NBA selections and a Most Valuable Player award.
Nowitzki, of course, also delivered the Mavericks their one and only NBA title in 2011, beating the LeBron James-led Miami Heat in six games. The image of Nowitzki that inspired the statue is from that season, including the same uniform and shoes from the Mavericks’ championship run.
Omri Amrany, an Israeli who studied in Italy before moving to the U.S. in the 1980s, designed the statue. Beginning in 1994, when he was selected to build a statue of Michael Jordan, he has become the premiere sculptor of NBA greats.
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According to D Magazine, Amrany e-mailed Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in 2019 after he had seen Cuban promise to put the “biggest, most bad-ass statue ever” in front of the stadium to honor the retiring Nowitzki.
Amrany told the magazine he utilized input from Holger Geschwindner, Nowitzki’s longtime coach and mentor, in trying to capture the essence of Nowitzki and that Nowitzski himself was involved in the process “every step of the way…more involved than many other players I work with.”
The plate at the bottom of the statue includes the words “Loyalty never fades away,” a nod to Nowitzski spending all 21 NBA seasons with the same franchise. The 44-year old recently became eligible for the Naismith Hall of Fame and is practically a lock to be selected for the class of 2023.