It takes two lines of subway to reach the East Village from Brooklyn. Several interesting playgrounds of New York are in this neighborhood. It was a Sunday afternoon, I walked about this area even if the weather was overcast and wet. While I was taking pictures, my attention was captured by a guy. He might be 13. He was playing basketball with friends, wearing a Dirk Nowitzki's jersey number 41.
I’m not writing an analysis about the awesome career of this player, experts have already written and told amazing words to celebrate him.
I want to share with you a story about a friend, almost a brother, who owes a lot to the power forward of Dallas Mavericks. Thanks to him, I know the incredible story of Dirk in the Nba.
Andrea, or "Cava", was my classmate at high school. We are both supporters of Virtus Bologna and we used to see games of our team on Sundays.
At the end of August, we used to meet to renew the season ticket. That day was too important to us and every year we had a regular schedule. Breakfast at “Bar del Jack”, cappuccino and pastry or “crescentina” (typical italian bread) made by the great Claudia. After getting a quick look at the newspapers, we drove to Arcoveggio, the headquarters of Virtus Bologna.
Amazing years together, we shared exultation, pain, defeats and victories.
During car journeys we used to talk about basketball, serie A, Virtus, Fortitudo, Euroleague and Nba. At the beginning I knew the main players as Lebron or Kobe. Cava told me the stories of the greatest players of american basketball, Dirk Nowitzki among others.
He always been informed of statistics, news and results of the Nba games. He supported Manu Ginobili (ex player Virtus Bologna) who played in San Antonio, most of all the great Dirk, his enthusiasm captivated me definitely.
In 2011, Dirk won the Nba championship and I was in Rome the night of the Nba finals. I was checking the results on my mobile, because less than 10 years ago there were not the most popular sports app. Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat (Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Chalmers among others) and Wunder Dirk won his first Nba ring championship.
Last minutes of the game were intense and I was really excited.
Nowitzki has always been special to Cava, since he was a teenage boy. Trust me, don’t try to deny him concerning Dirk.
When we attended high school, during summer vacation, we used to meet at our hometown court. Cava rode his bike and wore basketball shorts and his favorite jerseys even if the weather was scorching. Since then he has saved Dirk jersey, so unique to him.
Couple days ago, all basketball lovers learnt about Nowitzki retirement. As soon as I read Nowitzki latest news, I texted Cava: “How many tears did you cry?” he responded instantly “I cried my heart out”. Cava has really admired and respected Dirk, rarely I have met anyone so passionate.
Dirk has been not just a good player to him, but the greatest ever.
This is a good story of a supporter and a champion. I hope you can meet a sport enthusiast like him.
To all of you, a friend as Cava.