Germany celebrates Nowitzki's title

By Karolos Grohmann

Among those congratulating the player on Tuesday were the country's Chancellor Angela Merkel and sports leaders.

Mavericks forward Nowitzki, who averaged 26 points per game in the finals was named the Most Valuable Player of the series after his team clinched their first championship with a 4-2 win over the Heat in the best-of-seven NBA finals on Monday.

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The Mavericks' win early on Monday morning German time quickly thrust the sport back into the spotlight with congratulations pouring in from the country's political and sporting leaders, including Merkel.

"The Chancellor followed the (NBA) Final series and was delighted with the victory," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a tweet. "The Chancellor supported Dirk Nowitzki throughout the series and now congratulates him warmly."

Germany's national soccer team coach Joachim Loew also heaped praise on Nowitzki.

The few bars showing the match in Berlin were packed with fans eager to see a victory for Nowitzki after 13 years in the NBA.

In Belushi's pub, a giant projector screen usually dedicated to soccer matches generated cheers from the crowd every time Dallas won a point or rebound.

A crowd of about 100 people shouted "MVP " and "Dirk" as they poured out into the street at sunrise.

(Additional reporting by Brian Rohan in Berlin)

(Writing by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)