After an illustrious 21-year career, Dirk Nowitzki has officially been inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Nowitzki is the highest-scoring foreign-born player, ranking 6th All-Time in NBA scoring history with 31,560 pts.

Additional notable accolades include:

  • 14x NBA All-Star
  • 12x All-NBA
  • 2006-07 League MVP
  • 2010-11 Finals MVP
  • NBA Champion

In a touching message, Nowitzki highlighted all of the qualities he learned throughout his career and thanked those who taught him these values along the way. Those teachers included his former coaches, teammates, opponents, and family members.

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The 2023 Hall of Fame class included Pau Gasol, Tony Parker, and Dwyane Wade. In a joking manner, Dirk mentioned that he didn’t always like the players listed, to which the camera cut to Wade nodding his head, but that he appreciates their greatness after competing against one another at the highest level.

He thanked his coaches; Don Nelson for his creativity, Avery Johnson for the intensity that pushed Nowitzki to be more than just a shooter, and Rick Carlisle for his attention to detail.

He later recognizes his long-time coach and mentor, Holger Geschwinder, for his innovation.

It was revealed that the 2023 Hall of Fame inductee, Coach Popovich, wrote Dirk a handwritten note after the 2011 NBA Championship. Nowitzki expressed his respect for Popovich and that he’ll never forget what their organization did for him in his final game. In 2019, the Spurs produced a video tribute for Dirk in his final game ever, which was played in San Antonio.

Nowitzki thanked the 200+ teammates he had throughout his career, some of which were in attendance.

While thanking presenters Steve Nash and Jason Kidd, Dirk joked:

“I would have really loved to play together with those two guys in their primes, but unfortunately, I had to deal with what they gave me.”

Nash, of course, played with Dirk early in his career, while an older Kidd was a key piece of the 2011 Championship run.

Dirk’s family was also in attendance, as he attributed his humbleness to his parents.

To ensure his message was conveyed clearly, he thanked his parents in German with an English translation stating:

“The way you raised me was perfect. My goal is to raise my three kids the exact same way”.

He also credited his wife Jessica for teaching him passion, while his kids Max, Malaika, and Morris taught him curiosity.

He left his kids, as well as us viewers, with an important final message:

“Remember, when you’re green, you grow. When you’re ripe, you rot.”

Nowitzki revolutionized the game of basketball as one of the first 7-foot shooters. His signature fadeaway will be replicated for years to come and is immortalized forever as a statue.

Nowitzki will now be immortalized forever in the Hall of Fame.

He will be remembered for his accolades on the court and maybe even criticized for his shortcomings, but irrefutably Dirk Nowitzki is a Hall of Fame human being.

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