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Wizards vs. Mavericks GameThread: An Ode to Dirk Nowitzki

We pay a tribute to one of the NBA’s greatest of all-time with some facts on Germany!

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Dallas Mavericks
Dirk Nowitzki is presumably playing his last NBA season. Or is he?
Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards play the Mavericks tonight at 7 p.m. ET. Watch the game on NBA Sports Washington. Listen to the game on Federal News Radio 1500 AM or the Wizards Mobile App.

Thank you Dirk Nowitzki!

One of the big stories today is that Dirk Nowitzki is going on a “Farewell Tour.” He has played 21 NBA seasons and he has hinted that it will in fact, be his last go round.

When Nowitzki began his NBA career, few would imagine that he would now be a Top-10 career scorer, make 14 NBA All-Star teams and be the first European to win an NBA MVP award. The final accomplishment is particularly notable because his native Germany is not a traditional basketball power like other countries to the south and east, like Spain, Italy, Croatia, Serbia and Russia among others. That said, Germany has made 13 consecutive EuroBaskets and earned a berth in the 2008 Olympics which featured Nowitzki on the roster.

As an NBA player, Nowitzki played all 21 seasons with the Mavericks though he was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the ninth pick of the 1998 NBA Draft. During most of his career, the Mavericks were a perennial playoff team. Dallas made the NBA Finals in 2006 and 2011, both of which were against the Miami Heat. The Mavericks lost the series in 2006. But they won the Finals in 2011 where Nowitzki won the Finals MVP. He also had a supporting cast of former Wizards players Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson.

It’s crazy that 21 years passed since Nowitzki started his career. He will be missed whenever he calls it a career, whether it’s after this season or next.

If there’s one question I have, I wonder where is potential Polish ancestry lies. After all, his last name is a Germanized version of the Polish last name Nowicki! And ... we have a whole week of content dedicated to Poland when Marcin Gortat played for the Wizards last year.

German popular music

To the average American, the most popular German musicians are often EDM artists who sing in English, not unlike their western neighbors in the Netherlands.

Back when the Wizards were still the Bullets and when Nowitzki was playing for DJK Würzburg in his hometown, German Eurodance group Real McCoy’s “Another Night” hit No. 3 in the Billboard charts and was No. 1 in Austria. It was just No. 18 in Deutschland though.

In modern times, Zedd is more representative of a popular German DJ. Here’s “The Middle” with Maren Morris which was his most recent Top-10 hit in America.

Of course, Germans do sing plenty of songs in their native language. And for what it’s worth, rap music seems to be a popular genre to do that.

Mero is one of the most popular Deutschers out there. Here’s “Baller los” which topped the charts in Germany and Austria recently. Dirk may be 40 but he’s gotta have this song on his playlist.

Or maybe Azet & Zuna’s “Hallo Hallo” is on his list too.

Alright, that’s enough with the Dirk love. Let’s go Wizards!