Basketball In Europe
|Nowitzki's Germany team-mate Steffen Hamann, Coach Dirk Bauermann and Federation President Ingo Weiss were among many in the NBA Finals MVP's homeland that spent several sleepless nights watching him play|
Tributes are pouring in for Dirk Nowitzki after Germany's greatest-ever player led the Dallas Mavericks to their first NBA title.
The 2005 FIBA Europe Player of the Year added to his legend with a performance in the NBA Finals that earned him the title of MVP.
He struggled early in Game 6 against the Miami Heat but finished strong, scoring 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter as the Mavs won 105-95.
Nowitzki's Germany national team coach, Dirk Bauermann, speaking in the early hours of Monday morning, said: "The success tonight is a confirmation of what we knew long ago: Dirk is a giant!
"This success crowns a long journey."
The president of the German Basketball Federation, Ingo Weiss, said: "Madness! Simply unbelievable! A unique achievement for Dirk and his team! I watched all the games and am very excited for our national team. No one deserves the title as much as he does. We look forward to seeing our NBA champion Dirk Nowitzki live in Germany again."
Germany will be looking to reach the podium at the EuroBasket in Lithuania and with Nowitzki in the squad, anything is possible.
The captain of the national side, Steffen Hamann, said: "I'm so happy for Dirk.
"If anyone deserves one to win the championship, he does!
"Even today, after some early difficulties, he again played great.
"I'm really looking forward to the summer with him!"