Boston Celtics fans showed Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki the love, and he loves them back

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Boston Celtics fans showed Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki the love, and he loves them back

Post by bobheckler on Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:21 pm

https://www.masslive.com/celtics/2019/01/boston-celtics-fans-showed-dallas-mavericks-star-dirk-nowitzki-the-love-and-he-loves-them-back.html



Boston Celtics fans showed Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki the love, and he loves them back


Updated Jan 4, 10:24 PM; Posted Jan 4, 10:24 PM







By John KaralisJKaralis@masslive.com



Dirk Nowitzki missed a shot with 45 seconds left in the first quarter of a five point game, and Boston Celtics fans were upset about it. He missed again to start the second quarter, and again 20 seconds later, and each time, fans in the Garden grew a little more agitated.

That’s not exactly what you’d expect from a home crowd, but this wasn’t an ordinary game. And Dirk isn’t an ordinary player.

Nowitzki walked onto the Garden floor needing just two points to pass Kobe Bryant as the top-scoring Western Conference player in the building. He’s also, probably, walked off the Garden floor for the final time as a player.

“It’s sweet when not only your home fans, but fans on the road appreciate what you have done in the last two decades,” Nowitzki said after the game. “I appreciate the fans of Boston and, unfortunately, I was really disappointed I couldn’t even make one.”

It wasn’t just Dirk and the Boston fans who were disappointed.

“I’ve rooted for the opponent to score two times in my life,” Brad Stevens said. “Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki. I was sitting over there just like everyone else in the building saying ‘go in, go in.’"

“Man, I wanted him to make a shot. Jesus Christ.” Jaylen Brown said, laughing with reporters in the locker room.

“That was awesome,” Gordon Hayward said. “Dirk has done so much for the game of basketball, I’m happy to see him still out there. He’s such a great player. I thought that was pretty cool, I wish he would have hit one.”

“Pretty amazing and special moment if you think about it,” said Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle. “I just would have loved our team to play better, but they have an awful lot of respect for him here."

Nowitzki returned the love after the game.

“I always enjoy those moments, playing those games against good teams with great crowds whether the team is doing well or not," he said. "The fans always show up and it’s always sold out and you know there are great sports fans in a great sports town and they know the game and appreciate the game.”

By the end, with the game well in hand, Boston fans turned all their energy towards cheering for Nowitzki to hit a shot.


https://twitter.com/Marc_DAmico/status/1081390799307313153
Marc D'Amico
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@Marc_DAmico
Celtics fans have never wanted an opponent to score more than they just wanted @swish41 to drop one in. That was a lot of fun. Wish one of them dropped!



Guerschon Yabusele, who is one of the fan favorites in Boston, almost became a villain in that stretch. He closely defended Nowitzki twice, including taking a run at what is likely Dirk’s final shot attempt in Boston.

“They might have booed you if you blocked that shot,” Hayward told Yabusele after the game.

I don’t think there was any question about it. For this one night, especially in that moment, Nowitzki was cheered like a Celtic.

“It’s humbling,” he said. “The reception here tonight not only from their players, but the fans and staff. I really appreciate it.”


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Re: Boston Celtics fans showed Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki the love, and he loves them back

Post by bobheckler on Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:41 pm

Sean Grande
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@SeanGrandePBP
Dirk Nowitzki plays (possibly) his final game in Boston tonight.  He's one point shy of Kobe Bryant's record for most points scored here as a Western Conference player.

1. Kobe Bryant        427
2. DIRK NOWITZKI  426
3. Tim Duncan         337

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2:10 PM - Jan 4, 2019 · Cambridge, MA


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