The NBA season might be on break right now, but one of the sport’s biggest events took place on Saturday night and brought out a who’s who of former NBA legends. The 2023 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony went down in Springfield, Mass. as greats, including former NBA champs Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki, were awarded their signature orange blazers. Both men, who were also part of the coveted 75th Anniversary Team, celebrated their big night with their loved ones.
Nowitzki hit the carpet with his wife, Jessica Olsson, and their three children: Malaika, Max and Morris. He also had the support of his parents, Helga and Jorg.
In addition, the former Mavericks star was flanked by many other relatives who were glad to cheer him on in the audience and on the red carpet.
They served some serious style, including 5-year-old Kaavia, who gave the cameras a smile, while posing on the red carpet.
His sister, Tragil, and parents Jolinda and Dwyane Sr. were also by his side. The Miami Heat icon went viral for his showstopping speech, which had a sweet moment highlighting his father’s impact on him when it came to learning the game of basketball but also through his love in general.
“When I would cry and say I can’t, you would make me go harder,” he said in the emotional speech as his father stood. “You pushed me to limits that I didn’t know were inside of me. The hard work I put in was because I didn’t want to let you down.”
He added, “We had the same exact dream, and we carried the same exact name. To know we hustled, all the way to the Basketball Hall of Fame, is God’s will.”
As he welcomed his father to the stage to share in his special moment, he emphatically stated, “We in the Hall of Fame, dawg!”
Both inductees had storied careers, with Nowitzki’s NBA career starting in 2019, and Wade’s beginning in 2003. They both bowed out of the league in 2019. Of all the influential supporters they had, the guys used their biggest night to laud the women in their lives who are in their corner.
“Your passion for our family is incredible. You’re so driven. When you want something in life you work so hard to get it,” Nowitzki said of his Kenyan and Swedish wife. “Thanks so much for everything you do for our family and our kids. We’re really lucky to have you in our lives.”
Wade also gave thanks to his leading lady, a Hollywood leading lady. “Thank you for making our house a home. Thank you for making sure our kids feel seen, heard and protected when I’m not around,” said Wade to Union, before offering a joke. “Thank you for learning every refs’ name in the NBA and screaming at them so I didn’t have to. Saved a lot of fine money. Thank you for being on this journey for me, with me, these past 15 years. Thank you for learning to love my imperfections just as much as we’ve enjoyed and loved the moments of perfection. I love you.”
We love to see and hear it. Congratulations to both men for this major milestone — and to their loved ones who were along for the wild ride.