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Lakers honor legend with tribute featuring LeBron, Kobe

LOS ANGELES — The crowd rose to its feet and cheered. This time, the commotion did not involve excitement over LeBron James or Anthony Davis offering a highlight reel. During a first-quarter timeout of an eventual loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday at Staples Center, the Los Angels Lakers played a tribute video for recently retired Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki.

"I had no idea the Lakers were going to do that," Nowitzki said. "I’m super honored and humbled."

So Nowitzki stood up in his courtside seat and waved to a crowd that once bemoaned his presence. During his 21st and final NBA season, most teams accommodated Nowitzki’s request not to have any video tributes. By that point, he had not officially retired. Nowitzki also did not want a farewell tour. Those plans changed on Sunday.

He had hosted a charity tennis event in Dallas in September with one of the auction items involving a paid trip to Los Angeles, a tour of Jimmy Goldstein’s home and court-side seats with Nowitzki for the Lakers-Mavericks game. Then, Nowitzki learned only shortly beforehand that he would receive a tribute video that he called "sort of surreal."

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