It was an emotional Tuesday night in the NBA. Moreso for a 40-year-old Dirk Nowitzki, who announced his retirement from the NBA after 21 seasons.
He started the game, a well-deserved move of respect from the Dallas Mavericks coaching staff, honoring the best European basketball player to ever play the game. Nowitzki held back tearful moments during the game, like when a tribute video played in the first half. His last shot in the NBA was like that of the hundreds of images seen of him in posters, knocking down a one-legged fade-away shot – his “unblockable” signature move.
Dirk bids goodbye to the game as an NBA champion and 14-time All-Star with an unquestionable level of loyalty to the team that drafted him in 1998. With career averages of 20.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.2 3pg
He leaves the Mavs in good hands as the team has paired together two the league’s best European players under the age of 24, in Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia) and Luka Doncic (Slovenia). The torch has been passed and
Dirk is sixth in the NBA all-time scoring list, ahead of Wilt Chamberlain and just behind his “Airness” Michael Jordan. So yes, his career puts him in the elitest of elite company in the game.
Off the court, Dirk is beloved by the Dallas fans and the local community. He actively gives of his time to visit children’s hospitals and host clinics for the youth.
Thank you, Dirk. For your career. Your character. And your impact on the game.