Clippers coach Doc Rivers stops the game to thank Mavs’ Dirk Nowitzki
Many fans applauded the efforts of Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers to give Dallas Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzki the recognition he deserves in their match, Tuesday (Manila time) at the Staples Center.
With 9.4 seconds remaining at the last quarter in the apparent victory of the Clippers vs Mavs 121-112, Doc called a timeout, walked to the center court, grabbed the mic, and implored the LA crowd into a standing ovation for the veteran player in what could be his final game at the said arena.
“We had a lead and I had a time-out,” the legendary player-turned-coach explained. “You know, honestly, I didn’t plan it. I just felt like he deserved that.”
Asked about his thoughts on Doc’s endearing gesture for the opposing player, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle called it one of the greatest things he had ever seen. “I had a couple of words with Doc and thanked him. I know there will be more moments similar to that but this was an original, you know. I’ve never seen something like this.”
In a postgame interview, Nowitzki said. “I didn’t really understand much, but that was really humbling. That was an emotional moment. I’m really appreciative.”
The Mavs center hasn’t officially stated that he will retire at the end of the season, but after signing a one-year contract, this could very well be his final season in the league. Though he is currently averaging a career-low 5.4 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.4 assists per game, the 14-time All-Star and former MVP is undeniably one of the greatest in NBA as Doc has said himself, and is No.7 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
If this season is indeed Nowitzki’s last one, he will leave behind a historic legacy in Dallas that will inspire all athletes, fans, and coaches alike. With 21 years in the NBA, he already holds the record of most seasons with one team. Fans are hoping for more years to come, but his imminent retirement will dawn sooner or later. (Janiel Abby Toralba)