Big D honored the Big German, Dirk Nowitzki, in a big way Wednesday.
A stretch of Olive Street in front of the American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks, was officially renamed Nowitzki Way.
"My first year, the city wouldn't have named a dumpster after me, much less a street," said Nowitzki during Wednesday's ceremony.
He retired earlier this year after 21 seasons with the Mavericks, the most for any one player with a single franchise in NBA history.
Nowitzki, who scored the sixth-most points in NBA history, spent 11 minutes thanking those who helped him achieve stardom on the basketball floor and guided him toward using his platform to make a difference off the court.
"There were some questions about why not 'Dirk Drive' or 'Dirk Way,'" Nowitzki said. "I also think this is for my family. I wanted my family name represented."
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Cold and drizzle in Dallas on Wednesday forced part of the official ceremony inside the AAC from Victory Plaza, where it was supposed to take place.
When the ceremony moved outside the arena, the name Nowitzki Way was officially revealed.
"When I first bought the team, I never would have imagined in a million years we would be revealing a street sign named after Dirk," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said. "I proud of him, thrilled for him, I think it's great for Dirk, and it's great for the community. He owns it, he earned it and he deserves it."
Perhaps not coincidentally, the Nowitzki Way signs are each as wide as Dirk is tall -- 7 feet.
"I'm sure it will sink in later when I drive by here and come to games or bring my kids to games," Nowitzki said. "It's something that will be there forever, so of course it makes me super proud."
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, Mavs owner Mark Cuban, head coach Rick Carlisle, teammates and members of the City Council all attended the ceremony.
"Since he came to Dallas from Germany more than two decades ago, Dirk has made a tremendous impact on our city. His work ethic and his play on the court were legendary, and his philanthropic efforts continue to be sublime," Johnson said. "It is fitting that we are renaming a street to honor him both as a person and as the greatest Maverick of all time."
No amount of wind or rain could keep Francisco Armendariz away. The day the Mavs fan found out about the dedication ceremony he asked off from work. And by 9 a.m. Wednesday, Armendariz was sitting alone along Olive Street in a camping chair, proudly holding on to his 2011 Mavericks NBA Championship hat.
"[Because] he's Dirk," Armendariz said when asked why he would wait out in the elements. "He's somebody that I think is a role model. He has dedicated 21 years to the city of Dallas. I think I can dedicate four years, I mean four hours in the bad weather."