Dirk Nowitzki became one of the most prolific scorers ever to play on a basketball court. A 7-foot forward who can shoot from anywhere on the floor doesn't come around very often, and Nowitzki played 21 years in the NBA, all while wearing a Dallas Mavericks uniform.
The Mavericks acquired Nowitzki during the 1998 NBA draft in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks. The German-born forward was a bit of a mystery to some, but it didn't take long before Nowitzki made his presence felt. After averaging just 8.2 points per game during his rookie season, Nowitzki saw that average jump to 17.5 ppg during his second year.
From there, the forward went on to become a marvel for fans across the world with his combination of size and shooting, giving nightmares to opposing defenses.
According to a report from NBA Analyst Marc Stein, the Dallas Mavericks organization is planning to retire Dirk Nowitzki's number in a home game in January.
It's an expected move and well deserved for one of the greatest forwards to ever play. Nowitzki built an impressive resume. Let's take a look at five of the greatest moments during Dirk Nowitzki's career with the Dallas Mavericks.
No. 5: Passing John Stockton for Games Played (2019)
During his final year in the NBA, Dirk Nowtizki passed John Stockton for third all-time in total games played. For a player of Nowitzki's size and mobility, this was one of the more "underrated" accomplishments of his career, considering how much mileage he accumulated while impressively still playing at a high level.
John Stockon played 19 years, totaling 1,504 games with the Utah Jazz. At the time, Dirk Nowitzki moved into third all-time behind Robert Parish and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Vince Carter later passed Nowitzki during his 22-season career. Nowitzki finds himself fourth on the list with a total of 1,522 games played.
No. 4: NBA Finals Game 4, "The Fever Game" (2011)
Although Dirk Nowitzki had plenty of eye-opening box scores throughout his career, Game 4 of the 2011 NBA Finals ranks as one of his most impressive performances.
The Dallas Mavericks trailed the Miami Heat 2-1 heading into Game 4 of the NBA Finals with a pivotal home game up next. It had been reported that Nowitzki had a fever of 102 before the crucial game. Although Nowitzki struggled shooting, he still finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds, giving the Mavericks the win and shifting the momentum of the series.
The victory proved to be the turning point as Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks won the next two games as well to secure the franchise's first NBA championship. Nowitzki was named MVP of the series.