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Dirk Nowitzki’s bumpy final season was still magical

Year 21 was unkind to the greatest player in franchise history, but it gave us some great moments.

Dallas Mavericks v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

With the retirement of Dirk Nowitzki from the Dallas Mavericks, an era has finally ended. Dirk’s 21st season has come and gone and now we’re left with only memories. If you’ve missed any of our coverage, check out the growing stream of content here.

But before he rides off into retirement, let’s take one last look at his swan song of a season.

Looking back

Nowitzki ran into trouble immediately starting the 2018-19 pre-season, suffering a setback at the start of training camp on his surgically repaired ankle. Dirk opted to get bone spurs removed near the conclusion of the previous season, with the goal of improving his mobility for what ended up being this final season.

The setback proved disastrous, resulting in 26 lost games to start the season. When Dirk did return, it coincided with a rough part of the schedule and the Mavericks lost five straight as they tried to work Nowitzki back into the rotation.

Though he did have the occasional fun game (helping whip Golden State in late March!), his shooting never got on track and Dirk shot a career low 36 percent from the field. We always assumed Dirk would be able to shoot until the end of time, his feet robbed him of a key part of his jumper for much of the season. But the moments, like the All-Star Game in Charlotte, were even more fun than we could have hoped for.

The numbers weren’t kind to Dirk across the board, but he did his best to put on a show during his final road and home games.

Contract status

Dirk Nowitzki will make $0 next season with the Dallas Mavericks. That we know of.

Looking forward

Well, uh, Dirk is retired! He’s likely to have some sort of role with the Mavericks moving forward, he’s likely to take time away from everything until the start of the season at the earliest. Others have speculated he might join the Mavericks in some capacity that allows him to be actively involved in charitable work, which makes sense.

For now, he’s earned the right to relax, travel, and not think about basketball.

Check back throughout this week and next as we review the seasons of all players who finished the 2018-19 seasons as members of the Dallas Mavericks.