Dirk Nowitzki is essentially one game away from making history!
The 38-year-old longtime Dallas Mavericks power forward is very close to achieving a major scoring milestone – 30,000 points.
Keep in mind that this is simply not a milestone that very many NBA stars have been able to accomplish. The relatively short list of people who have achieved this type of scoring record during their NBA career is filled with Hall of Fame legends (and future Hall of Fame prospects):
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387)
- Karl Malone (36,928)
- Kobe Bryant (32,534)
- Michael Jordan (32,292)
- Wilt Chamberlain (31,419)
Shaquille O’Neal came very close to achieving that career milestone himself, but fell short by retiring after 1,207 games with 28,596 points. The concept of playing more than 1,200 NBA games is a major accomplishment all by itself. Therefore, even the NBA legends and Hall of Famers who missed that particular mark still have many other accolades, awards, and accomplishments from their respective careers that should make them proud.
Dirk Nowitzki is in the spotlight right now, though, for a number of reasons. First of all, it is important to remember that Dirk is no “spring chicken.” The 19-season veteran is turning 39 in June. Even at his age, Dirk is still an unstoppable force on the court – playing hard against NBA stars nearly half of his age and giving them a run for their money game after game.
At this point in his career, many fans and critics have undoubtedly wondered whether or not he would settle down and finally close the book on his NBA career.
According to his comments in a recent interview with ESPN, it is crystal clear that he does not plan on stopping anytime soon – at least not in his 19th season.
“I think 20 seasons also with one team, like I’m trying to do it – I think only Kobe has done it – that’s another great accomplishment. So I kinda want to make the 20 fold. Plus that summer I’m turning 40. I think that’s also a good number to be in the league… from 20 to 40. That’s what I’m looking at.”
Even though Dirk Nowitzki is moving full-steam ahead through his 19th season with the Dallas Mavericks, his statement to ESPN seems like he knows exactly when the end of his career is coming. Based on the numerical references of 20 and 40, it also seems as if Dirk plans to make his exit from the NBA as poetic as the vast number of highlight plays he has generated on the court over the years.
As he stated, the fact that he would have started and ended his career with the same team is a major accomplishment in itself that many of the greatest players to ever be drafted into the league did not accomplish. Michael Jordan was a longtime Chicago Bulls star, but ended his NBA playing career on the Washington Wizards roster.
LeBron James, a future NBA Hall of Famer who is arguably one of the greatest active players in the league right now, bounced between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat.
NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain made waves in the late 60s and early 70s as a Los Angeles Laker but he played for the Philadelphia 76ers and the San Francisco Warriors before entering that particular stage of his career.
Perhaps Dirk Nowitzski will be able to make his potentially final NBA season even more poetic by adding another championship title to his already impressive resume.
[Featured Image by AP Images/Tony Gutierrez]