The Dallas Mavericks play the New Orleans Pelicans tonight at the American Airlines Center. Although this game appears to be a boring matchup between two lottery teams, Dirk Nowitzki will undoubtedly make it a loud night for a packed crowd.
We all thought it was going to happen on Saturday. The Dallas Mavericks were comfortably ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Dirk Nowitzki was in the midst of his highest minute count of the season. The reason Dirk was playing so many minutes? He is nearing another major milestone for his career.
Nowitzki was 18 points away from passing Wilt Chamberlain on the NBA All-Time scoring list going in to Saturday’s game. He would have needed a season high to pass Wilt in that game and it was looking like a real possibility. After three quarters, Dirk had only 4 points and seemingly no chance to take the 6th overall scoring position in NBA history.
Then, in a flash, Dirk was only 4 points away with over 7 minutes to play in the fourth quarter. The crowd wanted it. Dirk wanted it. But fate reared its ugly head and said no to the basketball gods. With a weekend game and a full house now out of the picture, Dallas is set to give Dirk his dues tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans.
What does this milestone mean to Dirk and to fans of the Dallas Mavericks?
For one, this is seemingly the last major milestone for Dirk to achieve in his career. If he plays next year he could pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in games played and he is nearing Shaquille O’Neal in made field goals, but neither of those hold a candle to moving up to number six on the all-time scoring list.
As a fanbase, we obviously don’t need another excuse to celebrate Dirk, but it never hurts to have another good reason. Tonight will be a historic moment and the fans in the arena will be ready to give the big German a standing ovation and a roaring applause to honor him yet again for proving to be one of the greatest basketball players of all-time.
The New Orleans Pelicans will be the team trying to stop Dirk from hitting his next milestone. There will be opposition as no one wants to be on the merchandise that will certainly be sold when he reaches that 31,420th point. Unfortunately, someone has to go on that poster and Dirk Nowitzki will make sure that it is the Pelicans tonight.
This is a big day for Mavs fans. Even though we have seen Dirk pass milestone after milestone and continue his way up the all-time scoring ladder, this one is special because it may be the final step. Dirk is the greatest Maverick to ever live and we have been blessed for 21 years of some amazing basketball with an amazing person. Congrats on one more milestone, Dirk.