Dirk Nowitzki will add to his legendary career when he attends his 13th All Star Game on Sunday in New York after being named an injury replacement for Anthony Davis.
The Mavericks were shut out of the initial All Star voting but Davis is the third Western Conference selection to drop out, after Kobe Bryant and Blake Griffin. Nowitzki is the 12th player in NBA history with 13 or more NBA All Star selections.
"It is always an honor to represent the Mavericks at the All Star Game," Nowitzki said in a Mavericks press release. "This year it threw a little bit of a wrench into my plans, but I am very excited. Even though it was unexpected I am looking forward to being a part of the festivities in New York."
The other players who have 13 or more All Star appearances: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O'Neal, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy and John Havlicek.
"No matter how you look at it, it's a great honor," head coach Rick Carlisle said. "He's compiling one of the all-time great resumes in NBA history and this is part of it."
After a win against Utah on Wednesday but prior to the announcement, Carlisle had called Nowitzki's absence a "blessing for him and the team," because of Dallas' health issues this season. Without a doubt, Nowitzki was looking forward to taking a vacation, but he understands what this honor means.
"It's a little disappointing he can't just disappear and enjoy some real off time, but this is one of the responsibilities that comes with greatness, and he understands that," Carlisle said.