Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki has made his retirement official after playing 20 seasons in the league. He made the announcement Tuesday night in the team’s last home game of the season.
He put on a show for his fans, going off with 30 points and eight rebounds in the team’s win against the Phoenix Suns.
For his last home game, five of Dirks basketball heroes – Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird, Shawn Kemp, and Detlef Schrempf – gave brief tributes at midcourt.
The city of Dallas was just one of many who took to Twitter to thank Dirk for all his contributions.
A glimpse at Dirk’s incredible career
There’s no debate that Nowitzki’s career was nothing short of incredible. The seven-foot forward made his debut in the NBA in 1998 and in that time, racked up a career average of 22.5 points and 8.1 rebounds.
He’s the Mavericks’ all-time leader in points, rebounds, field goals, three-point field goals, free throws, starts, games, and minutes. He’s scored 26,786 points in a Mavericks jersey and recorded 9,594 rebounds. He was named the MVP of the league in the 2006 season.
But he hasn’t just represented Dallas in his professional basketball career. Dirk has played in numerous All-Star games and has also represented his home country, Germany, by playing on the national team.
They went into the 2011 finals being the underdogs against the Miami Heat’s “Big Three” of Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and, Lebron James. Dirk, along with fellow teammates Jason Kidd and Jason Terry, clinched the NBA championship six games later. He took home the honor of NBA Finals MVP, averaging 26 a game during the series.
The Dallas Mavericks put together a video comprised of many NBA legends who had nothing but praise for Dirk’s career.
Nowitzki has dealt with chronic pain in his left ankle throughout the entire season, which is why many anticipated this may be the 40-year-old’s final season. He puts on his Mavs jersey one final time – tonight, when they play at San Antonio.