By Claire Crow

The Dallas Subdivision Committee approved changing part of Olive Street to “Nowitzki Way.” This means the city is now closer than ever to having a street outside American Airlines Center named after Preston Hollow’s very own Dirk Nowitzki.

Mayoral candidate Scott Griggs and other city council members proposed the name change, which would rename the section of Olive Street between Field Street and Victory Avenue. They hope to recognize Dirk for his 21 successful seasons with the Dallas Mavericks.

After the Dallas Subdivision Committee’s approval, a vote by the city plan commission will take place on August 1. If approved, the last step toward making “Nowitzki Way” a reality is a vote held by the City Council.

When Dirk retired on April 9, his last words to fans before stepping off of the court were, “You know, I’ll never be gone. I’ll stay here. This is my new home, with my wife and my kids. I left Germany over 20 years ago and I became a Texan, so thank you guys for having me. I’ll see you soon.”

Commissioners even declared April as “The Month of Dirk.”

Feted by Governor Greg Abbot at the Texas capitol last month with standing ovations from the Texas House and Senate, it’s hard to believe that this beloved Dallas Maverick isn’t a U.S. citizen. So, do we or do we not consider Dirk a true Texan?

Brad Townsend of Sports Day has an answer to that question: “I say yes. Us Texans can bestow Texanship to whomever we please, and I can attest that 20,000 American Airlines Center fans were greatly pleased and mighty proud on the night of April 9 when Nowitzki described himself as a Texan.”

A few years ago, Nowitzki told the news that he intends on becoming a U.S. citizen. In light of his retirement, people are wondering if he will begin the long, time-consuming process of becoming a dual citizen.

When SportsDay asked him about it, Nowitzki responded, “We’re in the process of getting a green card,” Nowitzki said of he and his Swedish-born wife, Jessica. “So once we accomplish that, then you have to be a green-card holder for, I think, over five years before you can even think about doing that [becoming a U.S. citizen]. So we’re going to do that and see how it goes.”

Perhaps seeing his name on a street sign every time he passes American Airlines Center will serve as another form of motivation for Dirk to kickstart his path to U.S. citizenship. Although, at the end of the day, U.S. citizenship or not, it seems like he will always be known to us as a Texan.

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