From 2015-2017, Deron Williams played alongside one of the legends of the NBA in Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas. After 21 seasons as a member of the Dallas Mavericks, Dirk played his final home game on Tuesday night in front of a packed American Airlines Center crowd. And among the crowd paying tribute to Dirk was his former teammate, Deron, who highlighted the night on his Instagram story.
In what was an emotional night, Dirk fittingly turned in one of his best performances of his final season, posting 30 points and eight rebounds in a 120-109 win against the visiting Phoenix Suns.
But the real show was before the game, when Dirk and Mavs owner Mark Cuban addressed the crowd, reflecting on one of the greatest careers in NBA history and everything Dirk meant to the city of Dallas. Deron, along with his son, witnessed these moments and captured them on social media.
While expected by many, Dirk finally formally announced that this would be his final home game, closing the book on a magnificent career.
And Cuban went on to mention, unsurprisingly, that Dirk’s No. 41 jersey will be retired by the organization and that a statue will be built in honor of Nowitzki, who led the franchise to their first NBA championship in 2011 by defeating the Miami Heat in an incredible postseason run.
Finally, at the end of the impromptu ceremony, the Dallas crowd gave Dirk an emotional standing ovation, thanking the big man for all he’s done for the city and the franchise over the last 21 years.
It was truly a special night for an all-time great, made even more special by Dirk’s incredible performance on the court after all the pre-game festivities.
And Dirk wasn’t even done after his 30-point performance against the Suns, as he had one more game to go in his illustrious career the following night against the San Antonio Spurs. Dirk turned in a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and he capped off his career in the most fitting fashion possible. No. 41 swished a mid-range fadeaway jumper in the waning moments of the game from the top of the key, a move he mastered during his 21-year career and used as a deadly weapon on a nightly basis to torch opposing defenses.
Dirk Nowitzki is one of the all-time greats in the NBA, and one that Deron got to know well during his time in the league, and D-Will was glad to help give his former teammate the sendoff he truly deserved.