Dallas Mavericks: The 41 greatest moments of Dirk Nowitzki’s career
By Kohl Rast
30. 1998 Nike Hoop Summit – U.S vs. World
This game technically wasn’t part of Dirk’s NBA career, but it was a big part of his NBA journey. Prior to this game, Dirk was barely known around the league. When he showed up to play against well known, U.S. born talent and wiped the floor with them, people took notice quickly. After a 33-point performance, there were plenty of teams interested, but none more than Don Nelson’s Mavs.
29. Dirk’s first point
Nowitzki’s first points in an NBA game came on a pair of free throws. A quiet way to enter the league, and despite scoring another 31,559 points after this first free throw, his career followed the path of that first basket in many ways, quietly effective in a way that some people just never fully understood.
28. Dirk and Luka
The saddest part about Dirk retiring after this season may in fact be that we don’t get to spend more time with he and Luka Doncic. As far as entertaining pairs go, those two were maybe the most entertaining, lovable pair I have ever seen in my time watching sports, competing with Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus with the Texas Rangers. This was one of their most fun moments together.
27. The lay-up over Chris Bosh
Some of the greatest players in NBA history have a play that is brought up regularly with their name. For Michael Jordan, it was “The Shot” against Cleveland in 1989. For LeBron, it was probably the block on Andre Iguodala. John Havlicek had the steal, Allen Iverson stepped over Tyronn Lue and Shaq tore the backboard down. For Dirk, the most memorable individual moment was likely this shot that sealed one of the biggest comebacks in NBA Finals history.
26. And-1 vs. Manu
Although the play before may be more memorable and at a more important moment, this play stands out because it was the key play against the most frustrating of all Mavs opponents. With Dallas down by three in a game 7, they turn to their best player to just do something to give them a chance in this game. This and-1 sends the game to OT where the Mavs dominate and get their first ever series win over the San Antonio Spurs.
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