Dirk Nowitzki, the 13-year NBA veteran from Germany, who finally broke through to win an NBA title is being hailed at the pride of Germany, as the first German to win an NBA title.
In a country where soccer (called football in Europe) is the number one sport, Nowitzki's win is being hailed as equivalent to Germany's first World Cup win in soccer in 1954.
Bild, Germany's top newspaper, had the headline This is the title that we were missing on its front page, usually reserved for soccer accomplishments.
Other accomplishments the paper compared the win to was Max Schmeling's boxing world title, Boris Becker's first 1985 Wimbledon title in tennis, and cyclist Jan Ulrich's 1997 victory in the Tour de France.
Dirk Nowitzki led his Dallas Mavericks team to the franchise's first ever NBA title, by beating the Miami heat in six games.
The win even drew the attention of Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The Chancellor followed the (NBA) Final series and was delighted with the victory, Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said. The Chancellor supported Dirk Nowitzki throughout the series and now congratulates him warmly.
Nowitzki was named the finals MVP for his consistent performance throughout the series.
In a pivotal Game 2, Nowitzki played with a hurt finger and made a clutch shot in the final seconds to put Dallas ahead. In another pivotal Game 4, Nowitzki played ill and scored 21 points.
He was superb in the other games, scoring 27 points in Game 1, 34 points in Game 3, and 29 points in Game 5.
In the series clinching Game 6, Nowitzki overcame a poor start shooting 1 for 12 in the first half, to end the game with 21 points.
His superb playing performance caught the attention of Joachim Loew, coach of Germany's national soccer team.
He completed an amazing performance, Loew said following the win.
Loew added, He is exceptional and one of Germany's top sportsmen. The title win is the cherry on top of a stunning basketball career in the United States.
The Miami Heat were heavily favored going into the series with the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.
But Nowitzki overcame his reputation and an underperformer in the playoffs to win his first NBA title.
Now, Nowitzki and Germans are basking in pride with the victory.