Dirk Nowitzki’s end-of-career run through the NBA this spring was a rare chance for the entire league to pay homage to one of its all-time greats. From opposing coaches to fanbases who otherwise consider the Mavs their enemy, seemingly everyone who encountered Nowitzki in his final games sought to honor his impressive career.
Dallas, meanwhile, is seeking a more permanent celebration of one of its most iconic sports figures. According to D Magazine, a three-block stretch of Olive Street near the American Airlines Center (the Mavericks’ home court) is slated to be renamed Nowitzki Way.
Dallas city councilman Adam Medrano reportedly has been working on the proposal for a year. A memo to the city manager, signed by three council members, notes that “Mr. Nowitzki, a devoted husband and father, has demonstrated his selflessness by accepting less money in order to stay in Dallas and help the Mavericks sign additional talent over the years” in explaining why his contributions make renaming the street for him a reasonable civic action.
The new name won’t take effect immediately, with three public hearings scheduled between now and the end of September (just a few weeks before the 2019-2020 season starts). Those are most likely a formality, though—it’s hard to imagine anyone in Dallas opposing the idea of naming a street after a player whose 21 seasons with the Mavs represents the most that any player in NBA history has ever spent with a single franchise. Honestly, Nowitzki is a beloved enough figure that even the San Antonio City Council could probably find the votes to rename a street after the guy.
Both Nowitzki and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban support the idea, according to D—Cuban, presumably, with a lot of enthusiastic swearing and Nowitzki, we assume, with a humble, “Aw, shucks, if that’s what you want to do, I won’t stand in the way” sort of thing. Nowitzki has been chilling out since his retirement days started. As he told Dallas sports radio show Ben & Skin last week, he’s made time for a frozen treat every single day since the end of his NBA career—something he’s certainly earned. Here’s hoping someone opens a creamery for the big man on Nowitzki Way, so he’ll always have plenty of reasons to return.