Video: Doc Rivers Calls Timeout to Let Clippers Fans Give Dirk Nowitzki Ovation

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Head Coach Doc Rivers of the LA Clippers and Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks high-five on February 25, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/Getty Images

If Monday night's game marked Dirk Nowitzki's final outing at Staples Center, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to salute the Dallas Mavericks legend.

As the Clippers dribbled out a 121-112 victory, Rivers called a timeout with 9.4 seconds to play. He then grabbed a microphone from the public address announcer and urged fans to show the visiting star some love in what could be his final trip to town:

"That was just, we had a lead, and I had a timeout," Rivers said after the game. "Honestly, I didn't plan it. I just felt like he deserved that. You know what's funny, was it Miami? I thought we didn't give [Dwyane] Wade, like it was a close game, and I think they won the game, and Wade played like he should play five more years—so I wasn't going to let that happen again. I just did it."

Nowitzki felt honored, saying: "It was sweet. I'm really appreciative. 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."

Mavs owner Mark Cuban also appreciated the classy gesture:

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The 40-year-old Nowitzki has not committed to retirement just yet. During the All-Star break earlier this month, he said that he wanted to see how his body felt down the stretch before he decided if he would return for a 22nd season.

"The fans have shown me a lot of love already on the road, even though I obviously haven't announced that this is going to be it," Nowitzki told reporters. "I want to see how my body feels the last couple of weeks. If I get to see any improvement, if it's still fun, and I guess we're going to make that decision later."

Cuban told 105.3 The Fan earlier this month that this season has felt like a goodbye tour for his longtime star. However, he made it clear that Nowitzki can do whatever he wants, as the 2011 NBA Finals MVP has "earned" that right.