Nowitzki announces retirement after 21 seasons with Mavericks

Sherman Parsons
April 14, 2019

While most expected the 40-year-old to retire after his 21st National Basketball Association season, he hadn't closed the door publicly on playing next year before Tuesday. Following the matchup, Nowitzki informed the American Airlines Center crowd that it would be his final home game.

On a night dedicated to Dirk Nowitzki and his retirement, Jamal Crawford topped Michael Jordan and became the oldest player to drop 50-plus points in a game. After scoring 30 points on 11-of-31 shooting in a 120-109 victory over Phoenix, he flashed a smile while thanking the Suns "for letting me have a few baskets tonight".

DALLAS-Dirk Nowitzki notched season highs in points, shots and minutes before telling Dallas Mavericks fans that his record 21st season with the same franchise would be his last.

Wednesday night was Dirk's last ever game in the league and he got to play against his biggest rival, the San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs started the night with a video tribute to Dirk and when the public address announcer introduced him for the final time, Dirk shed some tears. He still had to play on the road against the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday evening. That always seemed to be the likely conclusion, but any time he was directly asked about his plans for the future, Nowitzki was noncommittal.

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Johnson, who announced he was HIV positive in 1991, said that his health is "wonderful" and was not a factor in his decision. In the 1993-94 National Basketball Association season, Magic Johnson took over as coach of the Lakers late in the year.

And while his in-game performance was certainly something worth remembering, it will likely be his pre-game emotion that provides the lasting image from Dirk's final game. He made many unpublicized trips to the hospital over the years.

Even with the focus up through the last game, White thinks there is more the team needs to work on.

It concluded a full day, and season, of celebration for Nowitzki.

"Incredible player - had a great career; to stay with the same team".

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