On the eve of his Hall of Fame induction, NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki has said that his daughter is “mostly embarrassed” about any “hoopla” surrounding her dad.
The former Dallas Mavericks superstar, who was the first European in league history to receive the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, will be among those inducted into basketball’s Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Alongside the German, two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol, four-time NBA champion Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, Dwyane Wade and the 1976 U.S. Olympic Women’s basketball team, among others, will be inducted.
However, at a press conference on Tuesday, Nowitzki admitted that his impending inauguration has not yet fully resonated with his children.
“They always watch me towards the end of my career and all they know is: ‘Papa, you were so slow,’” the 45-year-old said with a laugh. “I go to YouTube and it’s all grainy, it’s still films. But I try to pull up some stuff from the early 2000s. But they’re not really having it.
“I think my daughter understands the most, she’s 10 now and I think she’s mostly embarrassed about the whole hoopla or when people recognize me when we travel and she goes: ‘Oh, God,’ and she just walks the other way.”
It’s understandable that Nowitzki gets recognized when he’s out and about; he became one of the most iconic NBA players over his long career in North Texas.
His trademark fallaway jump shot was nigh-unstoppable and has been immortalized in a statue outside the Mavs’ American Airlines Center as well as being replicated by many of the current generation of basketball stars.
Nowitzki scored 35,223 points across 21 seasons in Dallas, playing 1,667 games for the only NBA team he ever featured for – only John Stockton played more games for one team across his career.
His crowning moment arguably came in 2011 when he led the Mavs to the NBA title, the organization’s first and only championship in its history.
Such was his success, Nowitzki is credited with playing a key role in opening the floodgates for European basketball talent to flourish in the US, paving the way for the current set of international superstars in the NBA, including current Mavericks star Luka Dončić, as well as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokić.