Germans and German media had been slow to throw their support behind Dirk Nowitzki’s push to his first NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks, but they went all out in their celebration and coverage of the German superstar following his clinching victory over the Miami Heat.

fertigThe German mass daily Bild splashed a huge headline on its online edition reading: “Champion Nowitzki Dirk, now you are the GREATEST!”

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bild-6It also had the headline: “The minutes after the championship: Nowitzki cries in the shower”

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bild-12The German Basketball Federation DBB showed a picture of Nowitzki with the MVP trophy with the headline: “DBB international Dirk Nowitzki is 2011 NBA champion – The German Basketball Federation congratulates Dirk Nowitzki on the 2011 NBA championship.” And then readers can click on to the DBB home page.

bild-9Sport1 proclaimed Dirk as “The best athlete in the world” while questioning “Does everyone realize how good Dirkules really is?” and showing a video about how Nowitzki’s home town Würzburg celebrated Dirk.

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bild-10The Sport Bild magazine gave the Mavericks and Nowitzki top billing with press reaction of the Dalls win with the headline: “That’s one big ‘W’ for Big D”

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bild-8The magazine kicker presented a series of pictures from Game 6 and then reported: “Champion! Dirk Nowitzki at the goal of his dreams”, adding: “Dirk Nowitzki is finally at the basketball Mount Olympus … Nowitzki is the first German NBA champion ever.”

The Würzburg Main Post – the newspaper from Nowitzki’s home city – gave a bit of description of the parties Sunday night in southwest Germany.

“Some 1,000 Würzburg natives turned the night into day after the victory, watching the game in bars, a basketball shop, a sports gym and an auditorium at Dirk Nowitzki’s former school. They celebrated the victory as if the Würzburg basketball team had won the championship. And they made sure the residents of Würzburg’s Old Town know about it with chants and a parade of cars.”

bild-11The online sport web portal spox.com showed a picture of Nowitzki hoisting the NBA trophy to the heavens and said: “I still cannot believe it”

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bild-13The German edition of yahoo said: Nowitzki finally reaches goal: Ring as crown … Thirteen years ago, Dirk Nowitzki entered basketball’s biggest stage as a young man, now he has fulfilled his dream.”

bild-14The web portal crossover-online headlined their coverage with “Dallas and Dirk have the ring.”

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bild-15The reputable Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily did not have Nowitzki atop their news coverage but it was the number one story on the sports page: “Nowitzki picks up first NBA title – It was one of the most exciting and breathtaking Finals of all time. “

bild-16The Berlin Tagesspiegel gave top billing to Nowitzki and Dallas saying: “Nowitzki wins NBA title and is most valuable player.”

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bild-17The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily ranked only the financial crisis surrounding Greece ahead of Nowitzki, saying: “Dirk Nowitzki has the ring – Dirk Nowitzki had to wait 13 years for his crowing.”

bild-18And the English language site The Local headlined its story: “Nowitzki crowns career with NBA championship”

The media were not the only ones congratulate Nowitzki. Here a selection from facebook:

The German Basketball Federation said: “No one has earned it more, have fun celebrating Dirk!” and a DBB employee added: “Well deserved?! We need a new expression for that! Congrats, Dirk!”

The German Beko Basketball Bundesliga also congratulated Nowitzki as did the Junge Liga, the collaboration for the ProA and ProB second and third divisions which posted a photo of Nowitzki from 1998. nowitzki-from-1998

And BBL CEO Jan Pommer said: “Congrats! By winning the NBA title, Dirk Nowitzki irrevocably took his spot among the greats in German sports idols. He is a role model for German basketball youth in every manner. We can be happy to be allowed to watch such a tremendous player soon in the national team jersey.”

A number of German national teammates used facebook to congratulate Nowitzki.

“The incredible Dirkules finally does it. You are the man!” wrote Jan Jagla.

Demond Greene added: “A dream has come true. Congrats my big man! You deserve it!”

Former German teammate Ademola Okulaja posted: “ya’ll were right. It was a sweep. Dallas sweeping Miami :-)))Congrats Dirk. Great job + Finals MVP”

The German Olympic Sports Federation President Thomas Bach also congratulated Nowitzki via the DBB facebook site: “Dirk Nowitzki is one of the Most Valuable Players of German sport, a real world star, and an excellent ambassador for our country. He proved that already as flag bearer at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He shines not only on the court but also off it. He lives the Olympic spirit like no other and has a special connection to young people, for whom he is a big role model. Dirk Nowitzki connects teamwork with success. He worked hard with the Dallas Mavericks for this NBA title. I congratulate him sincerely in the name of all German sports.”

DBB President Ingo Weiss said: “Unbelievable! Simply unbelievable! A unique success for Dirk and his team! I quivered with every game and I am happy for our national team player. No one has earned the title as much as him. We are happy about seeing our NBA champion Dirk Nowitzki again in Germany.”

German national team coach Dirk Bauermann offered up his congratulations as well, saying: “The success today is a confirmation of what we have known for a long time: Dirk is a giant! This success crowns a long road. There is no one who earned the championship more than Dirk. It was very moving seeing the pictures from Dallas.”

German national team captain Steffen Hamann added: “Tremendous! I am so happy for Dirk – if anyone deserved to win the championship than him! Once again today he played tremendously despite some early difficulties. I am already now looking forward to the summer with him!”

The DBB also offered other reaction from the German sports world.

“A super performance, congratulations,” said 2010 Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel. “Dirk Nowitzki is one of the best and most outstanding athletes in Germany. Too bad that it’s not as recognized by us.”

And seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher said: “I was totally happy when I heard about it. Dirk Nowitzki had waited so many years, it must be a great feeling.”

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