Dirk Nowitzki was presented with the key to the city of Dallas Wednesday during halftime in the game against the Brooklyn Nets.
“I said before I leave, I want to do something special for Dirk," said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. "It's got to be somebody who is a very special person [to get the key]. Sort of one of those things when they are great, there is no debate.”
Nowitzki has scored 30,000 points in his 21 season career, all of those with the Dallas Mavericks.
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The German is in his 21st season with the Mavs and has yet to play due to soreness in his foot.
Wednesday night's achievement was about so much more than just his numbers on the court.
One of his biggest contributions to the Dallas community is the Dirk Nowirzki Foundation. In Nowitzki's words, it's his way of helping provide education, health and well-being for children who may otherwise not have the opportunity.
“I have tried everything in my power to pay that love back that I got from year one when things weren’t going that well, so that’s my way of paying this loyalty back in being the best player I could be,” said Nowitzki.
Nowitzki is only the third person to be given a key by Mayor Mike Rawlings.
"Nowitzki is being honored not only for his professional achievements in his 20 seasons with the Mavericks organization, but also for his outstanding contributions to the community," city officials said in a statement.
Nowitzki has played with the Mavericks since he was drafted in 1998. He is the first European to win the NBA's Most Valuable Player honor.