Dirk Nowitzki received the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award on Monday in Berlin.
The 2020 Laureus World Sports Awards brought together a who’s who of personalities from across the world. In his homeland, the Dallas Mavericks icon, who retired last summer after 21 seasons with the team, received the honor of a lifetime.
Nowitzki is the 2020 recipient of the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award.
By the time he retired last spring, Nowitzki had become the first NBA player with these numbers on his resume: 31,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists, 1,000 steals, 1,000 blocks and 1,000 3-pointers.
Remarks from Dirk Nowitzki
“This is a huge honor,” Nowitzki said during a short speech at the awards ceremony. “Thanks to Laureus, thanks to the academy (Laureus World Sports Academy). A lot of you guys in the room inspired me, of course, to be great.
“I was fortunate to grow up in a sports family that embraced the power of sports. My sister and mom played basketball and my father played handball, so I grew up in gyms all around the country, and I loved every minute of it.
“First I think it’s about having fun. It’s about being with your friends, the excitement. Then it’s about learning, about learning to win, to lose, learn to handle your emotions and then you get the stage where you want to prove, you want to compete with the best in the country and the area.
“And then, once you made it on a certain stage, it’s how do I stay there? How do I maintain greatness for a long, long time?
“Of course, we all know in this room that it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of support from a lot of people…”
Dirk Nowitzki’s career achievements
The German is widely recognized as the greatest European basketball player of all time.
In 2011, Dirk Nowitzki was named the NBA Finals MVP. He led the Mavs past the Miami Heat in seven games to capture the title.
For the entire 2011 playoffs, Nowitzki excelled in his team’s 21 games. He averaged 27.7 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
FIBA World Cup champion Spain honored
Dirk Nowitzki wasn’t the only high-profile basketball figure to be honored during Monday’s festivities at the 20th annual Laureus World Sports Awards.
The Spanish Basketball Federation, which supervises and organizes the men’s national team, took home the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award. The reason, of course, has everything to do with Spain’s 2019 FIBA World Cup title last September in China.
Remembering Kobe Bryant
Laureus World Sports Awards host Hugh Grant requested that the crowd pay tribute to Kobe Bryant.
His request was granted.
The audience applauded the Los Angeles Lakers, who died on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash in California.