‘Relieved’ Dirk Nowitzki ‘can rest now and enjoy some wine and some food’
Dirk Nowitzki closed out his storied career Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs, and the Dallas Mavericks legend admits to being “relieved” it’s all said and done after months of uncertainty and some incredibly emotional moments over the past few days.
On Tuesday, Nowitzki confirmed during a sentimental ceremony following what ultimately was his final home game that he was indeed retiring after Wednesday’s game.
On Wednesday night, Nowitzki stepped onto an NBA court for the final time, and another emotional moment was in store, as the Spurs gave him a proper sendoff with a pregame video tribute.
It's been an honor to share the court with you, @swish41.#DankeDirk pic.twitter.com/QdZN0GDMeT— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 11, 2019
The gesture brought Nowitzki to tears.
Dirk broke down in tears after watching a tribute video made by the Spurs ahead of his final NBA game. pic.twitter.com/N6NUXL9cZj— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 11, 2019
Given the roller coaster of emotions Nowitzki has been through in recent days, perhaps it should come as no surprise he’s glad it’s all over. Among the benefits of retirement, Nowitzki also highlighted, is that he’s now free to indulge himself and enjoy the finer things in life.
Dirk: “I’m kind of relieved that it’s over. I can rest now and enjoy some wine and some food.”— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) April 11, 2019
Nowitzki, as cleverly characterized by ESPN’s Tim McMahon, eloquently bid his career auf wiedersehen in comments after the game.
“Mixed emotions,” Nowitzki said, via SportsDay. “It’s been a long season here this year, a tough one with my ankle, so I’m kind of glad it came to an end, but also bittersweet, of course.
“They always say an athlete dies twice. It’s tough. It’s tough to let something go that you love so much, that you’ve been doing basically your entire life, something that you lived and breathed for basically over 20 years.”
The final arena exit of Dirk’s Hall of Fame career: pic.twitter.com/MytJBwjRKG— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) April 11, 2019
The Hall of Fame is indeed the next stop for Nowitzki, without question.