Dirk Nowitzki Gets Emotional As He Announces Retirement From The NBA

Mavericks staffers sure acted like Dirk Nowitzki is going to retire

After speeches from Larry Bird and others he idolized growing up in Germany, Nowitzki told the crowd, "As you guys might expect, this is my last home game".

Not bad for a vet who came off the bench Tuesday night.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban also spoke after the game, and made all sorts of promises to Nowitzki, including a job for life, a jersey retirement ceremony and a "kick-ass" statue. "Everything else will be a surprise to me".

The Mavericks will finish their season Wednesday against the Spurs in San Antonio.

Perhaps just as significantly, Nowitzki's playing style, as a seven-footer whose long-range shooting skills forced defenders far away from the basket, presaged the direction in which the league would head.

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Nowitzki, a few steps slower than in his prime and a role player on a team now led by rookie sensation and fellow European Luka Doncic, has been serenaded in every road arena.

A longer-than-expected recovery from ankle surgery kept Nowitzki out until mid-December.

The 14-time All-Star gave the home folks the thrill of passing Wilt Chamberlain to regain sixth on the career scoring list last month.

With his 51-point performance, Crawford became the oldest player (39 years, 20 days) in National Basketball Association history to drop 50 in a single outing, passing Michael Jordan's 45-point total he accomplished in 2001 as a member of the Washington Wizards. Kobe Bryant, who retired three years ago, played 20 seasons with the Lakers.

Nowitzki then went out and showed flashes of his old self and showed why he's one of the greatest to ever play the game. "The first thing people say is 'What's this guy like, what's this guy like?' Cause all of these guys are great players". He was the first player that big to be a legitimate threat at the 3-point line.

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