Rival NBA Coach Stops Game for Fans to Salute Dirk Nowitzki

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers showed a lot of class

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks and Head Coach Doc Rivers of the LA Clippers shake hands after a game on February 25, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks and Head Coach Doc Rivers of the LA Clippers shake hands after a game on February 25, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Evan Bleier / February 26, 2019 11:00 am

In one of the classier moves you’ll see this season in the NBA, Clippers coach Doc Rivers called a timeout so fans in Los Angeles could pay tribute to rival player Dirk Nowitzki of the visiting Dallas Mavericks.

With 9.4 seconds left and his team leading by nine points, Rivers called timeout and grabbed the PA microphone. With the mic in hand, Rivers said: “Let’s go! Let’s go! One of the greatest of all-time, Dirk Nowitzki!”

Following Rivers’ words, the crowd responded and players from both teams went up and acknowledged the 40-year-old on the court.

Nowitzki, who finished with 12 points and five rebounds, is retiring after this season and won’t be playing in Los Angeles again (unless the Mavs somehow make the playoffs and face the Clippers or Lakers) in his career.

Monday’s game was the 1,500th of Nowitzki’s career, which moves him into fourth all-time behind only Robert Parish (1,611), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,560) and, John Stockton (1,504).

At his locker after the game, Nowitzki talked about the gesture and his favorite moments playing in Los Angeles.

“It was sweet. I’m really appreciative,” Nowitzki said. “At first, I was like, ‘Why is Doc calling a timeout? What’s he doing with [9.4] seconds left? What’s he up to?’ Then he grabbed the mic. I didn’t really understand much, but that was really humbling. That was an emotional moment.”

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