DALLAS (CBSNewsTexas.com) – Dirk Nowitzki has his own statue outside the American Airlines Center and this weekend, he will be getting another honor of a lifetime.
The Big German is going into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts on Saturday.
Ahead of his induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame, he spoke with media about what this moment means to his career.
"It's been four years since I've been out of the league," he said. "The whole weekend will be surreal."
His one-legged fadeaway shot became just as legendary as his 21 years playing for one team – the Dallas Mavericks.
Nowitzki said that once the team won their NBA Championship title in 2011, he knew he would be retiring with the Mavericks.
"It means a lot to me that it worked out that way [with the Mavericks for 21 years] but of course I had no idea it would play out like this in the beginning," he said. "I wasn't even sure I'd stay my whole rookie contract the way things were going in year one."
Beyond his time with the Mavericks, Nowitzki said carrying the German flag at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was another notable moment in his career.
"My two biggest dreams were to win the NBA Championship and play in the Olympic Games, which I have achieved both. It's been a great ride," he said.
Nowitzki will be presented into the hall of fame by Steve Nash and current Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd, both of whom he played with during his tenure with the team.
He said he also wanted former Mavericks head coach Don "Nellie" Nelson to present him, but he couldn't make it. "I owe him a lot," Nowitzki said.
"[Kidd and Nash] are still great friends of mine, I'm super honored they agreed to come, it means a lot that both are coming," he said. "They meant a lot to me during my career."
He'll forever be known as the German kid who came to Dallas only to become larger than life leading the Mavericks to their only NBA title.
"At the end of the day, keep pushing," he said. "It's normal when things don't go well and to have doubts. I'm not the most positive guy. The first few years there were doubts – should I go to college, should I stay in Europe."
The 2023 Basketball Hall of Fame class includes Nowitzki, Gene Bess, Pau Gasol, David Hixon, Gene Keady, Tony Parker, Gregg Popovich, Dwyane Wade, Becky Hammon, Gary Blair, Jim Valvano and the 1976 U.S. Women's Olympic Team.
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