I'll be honest: I did not expect Dirk to do much in this game. I expected he would play a gentleman's couple of minutes, take a shot or three, and then sit on the bench and cheer on his teammates. Kinda like last year.
But then, Dirk Werner Nowitzki, for a brief moment time, made the world (or at least, the Twitterverse) stand up and take notice. Dirk entered the game with 5:38 left in the first half, after what could fairly be called "The LeBron James and Russell Westbrook Duel of Fates." He grabbed a offensive board, missed a shot, and you know, I kinda thought that would be it, mostly.
I was wrong.
The lob! The jam! THE TONGUE! THE VINCE CARTER TRIBUTE!
TIM DUNCAN'S REACTION!
And of course, Twitter (and one of Dirk's former teammates!) had THOUGHTS:
AAAAAHHHHH DIRK DUNK WHAT— Mavs Moneyball (@mavsmoneyball) February 16, 2015
DIRK ALLEY OOP WHAT IS LIFE!?!— The Bird Writes (@thebirdwrites) February 16, 2015
SHUT IT DOWNNNNNN LETS GO HOMEEEEEE— Chris Barnewall (@ChrisBarnewall) February 16, 2015
DIIIIRRRKKKKKK WITH THE OOOP!!!!!! HAHAHAH— JAE CROWDER (@CJC9BOSS) February 16, 2015
Who picked Dirk as the most entertaining player tonight? Throat slash after the lob, then yelling at Marc for letting Pau get an alley-oop.— Brian Mahoney (@briancmahoney) February 16, 2015
Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) February 16, 2015
Dirk re-entered the game about halfway through the third, where he collected a couple more boards and had a nice smooth 3-point make:
Dirk would end the game with five rebounds and 5 points in 12 minutes played. His alley-oop dunk, per ESPN Stats & Info, was his first since January 2004 and only his ninth in his career. He also had a rather hilarious plus/minus of -19.
Russell Westbrook was named the MVP, but come on now, we all know who it really is. I mean, Dirk dunked (channeling MJ and Vince Carter in the process), rebounded, got Tim Duncan to smile, caught a ref who tripped, hollered at the Gasol brothers for cheating, hit a 3-pointer and cured world hunger. (Okay maybe that last part isn't true.)
We love you, Dirk. Don't ever change. Congrats on your 13th All-Star appearance being a memorable one.