Abdul-Jabbar. Malone. Bryant. Jordan. Chamberlain.
And now, Dirk Nowitzki.
This evening, Dirk joined the 30,000 point club, reaching the milestone easily, a minute into the second quarter against the Lakers.
He started the game insanely hot, hitting two early threes, three the hard way, and a couple more to easily get to 14 before his first break in the first quarter. He finished the first quarter with 18(!) points. 30,000 came on a fadeaway after backing a guy down in the post.
Of course it did.
THE SHOT HEARD AROUND THE AAC! CONGRATS ON 30K DIRK!! pic.twitter.com/r8QoozVmxZ— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) March 8, 2017
AAC had to wait a minute to react. The Lakers decided to let Dirk hit another three. But the mob of players around Dirk at the stop of play finally was so very worth it.
Dirk’s journey to 30,000 has spanned 19 years and many, many milestones along the way. Among some of the more significant include:
- 10,000 points on January 18, 2005 against the Washington Wizards
- Becoming the Mavericks’ all-time leading scorer on March 8, 2008 against the New Jersey Nets
- 20,000 points on January 13, 2010 (also against the Lakers!)
- Moving into the top 10 all time in points scored on April 8, 2014 against the Jazz.
- Moving into sixth all-time (and passing Shaquille O’Neal!) on December 23, 2015, against the now Brooklyn Nets.
Personally, I became a Mavericks fan during the title run in 2011, so I don’t have the history that a lot of my fellow fans do of watching the Big German for years on end. But I fell for Dirk quickly, like so many who have spent any time watching him play the game do. In fact, I’ll tell you my favorite memory of Dirk. It wasn’t even at a game, or even as part of a game that mattered. It was covering him at the 2014 All-Star Game in New Orleans several years ago. I got to Smoothie King Center a little bit early, before the arena filled in. It was quiet, and the only sounds you could really hear were him and Stephen Curry, alone on the court, just taking shots. It was a mesmerizing experience during a memorable weekend.
The best part about Dirk isn’t even him as a player, to me anyway. It’s that he’s humble, funny, and genuine. He’s not only a superstar and one of the best players in NBA history, but he uses his celebrity for good in the community, helps his fellow players, and plays the game the right way.
And he’s done it all in a Dallas Mavericks uniform. Boy, are we spoiled as Mavs fans.
We’ll have more coverage of Dirk reaching 30,000, including reaction from the locker room and some more reminiscing by our staff over the next day or two. For now, sit back and enjoy Dallas’ treasure of a player.
Congratulations, Dirk. (Please never retire.)