Dirk Nowitzki completed a modern fairy tale on Tuesday when he scored his 30,000 points in the home win against Los Angeles Lakers, 122-111.
The Dallas Mavericks power forward is only the sixth player to achieve such a performance, after legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain.
The German-born player has been a unique player throughout his 19 seasons in the NBA, always being faithful to the Dallas Mavericks, even when the team had it bad moments. Sure, there have been other big names tied to the franchise, but Dirk did it basically on his own.
Six years ago, the Mavericks won their one and only title, a performance achieved with Nowitzki as the leading man, but when they missed the playoffs in 2013, people started to question if the 38-years old player should consider a change.
Still, his love for Dallas was eternal, and Nowitzki said that he wants to end his career in Texas, but he couldn’t hide his frustration that the team was only fighting for the eighth or ninth seed.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban busted up the team, opting not to re-sign Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler and J.J. Barea. After that, the franchise missed on signing Deron Williams in the summer of 2012 (he re-signed in Brooklyn), or Dwight Howard and Chris Paul in 2013 (Houston and the Clippers, respectively).
However, Dirk remained by his side, signing a well-below-market deal in the summer of 2014 (three years, $25 million), for the team to be able to bring other top players to Dallas.
“A model player and terrific ambassador for our game”, said NBA commissioner Adam Silver. A legend, one of a kind player. Our respect, Dirk Nowitzki!