clearn.png
Saturday August 17th, 2019 6:53AM

Mavs making note of what could be Nowitzki's final home game

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki strolled past the crowd of cameras saying "it's like the NBA Finals" for what had all the appearances of his last arrival for a home game.

The Dallas Mavericks were making good on owner Mark Cuban's promise to make a big deal about the final home game of Nowitzki's record 21st season with the same franchise.

The 40-year-old has never said whether he's retiring because he didn't want a farewell tour. Dallas played Phoenix on Tuesday night, with a visit to San Antonio set to wrap up the season Wednesday. The Mavericks are missing the playoffs for the third straight season, the longest drought of Nowitzki's career.

The 14-time All-Star was greeted by hundreds of team employees as he walked from his car to the arena. Dozens of cameras were waiting for the walk to the locker room.

Larger-than-life placards of Nowitzki's face were perched on most of the roughly 20,000 seats at American Airlines Center, and a huge mural hung over one of the entrances to the arena.

"It's hard to fathom how big it is if that is the case," coach Rick Carlisle said, referring to the lingering question of whether this is it for Nowitzki. "I have no idea how emotional it's going to be. But it will be emotional."

Nowitzki, a few steps slower than in his prime and a role player on a team now led by rookie sensation and fellow European Luka Doncic, has been serenaded in every road arena. Some opposing fans chanted, "We want Dirk," late in games with outcomes decided and Nowitzki on the bench.

He gave the home folks the thrill of passing Wilt Chamberlain to regain sixth on the career scoring list last month. Nowitzki reached that spot last season, but LeBron James passed him. Nowitzki, who led the Mavericks to their only championship in 2011, had 31,510 points with two games to go.

The NBA's highest-scoring foreign-born player broke Kobe Bryant's record of 20 seasons with the same franchise, although it took longer than expected because of setbacks following ankle surgery that sidelined Nowitzki for the first 26 games.

Bryant retired from the Lakers three years ago. It's expected that Nowitzki will pass on joining former teammate Vince Carter, who has said he plans to return for a record 22nd season. Carter has played for eight teams.

If Nowitzki doesn't return, the 20-year-old Doncic still will be able to say he spent a season with the player who changed the game as the first 7-footer who was a legitimate threat from the 3-point line.

"All the things he did for the NBA," Doncic said. "Now every big fella trying to shoot the ball from 3. Dirk made it happen, and he deserves everything."

Nowitzki will get showered with praise Tuesday night, whether he wants it or not.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Capitol Hill hearing on online hate sees it firsthand
A congressional hearing on online hate turned into a vivid demonstration of the problem when a YouTube livestream of the proceedings was bombarded with racist and anti-Semitic comments
2:05PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Loughlin, husband and 14 parents face new charge in scam
Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have been hit with a new charge in the sweeping college admissions bribery case
1:51PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Backers of Ukraine's rival presidential candidates brawl
Police have moved in to stop a scuffle between supporters of rival candidates in Ukraine's presidential election
1:42PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Mavs making note of what could be Nowitzki's final home game
Mavs making note of what could be Dirk Nowitzki's final home game
1:16PM ( 51 minutes ago )
UCLA hires Cincinnati's Mick Cronin as basketball coach
Mick Cronin has been hired as UCLA's basketball coach, ending a months-long search to find a replacement for the fired Steve Alford
1:08PM ( 59 minutes ago )
Archer suspended for 5 games, Puig for 2, Bell for 1
Pittsburgh pitcher Chris Archer suspended for 5 games, Cincinnati outfielder Yasiel Puig for 2, Reds manager David Bell for 1 for roles in bench-clearing fracas
1:06PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
NCAA Latest: Virginia's clutch tourney goes down in history
NCAA Latest: Virginia beats Texas Tech in overtime to win its first NCAA Tournament championship
3:31AM ( 10 hours ago )
Comeback Cavs! A year after pain, Virginia gets its title
Comeback Cavs! A year after the toughest loss, Virginia gets its title
3:22AM ( 10 hours ago )
Guy writes perfect ending in Virginia's title-clinching win
Virginia's Kyle Guy is named the NCAA Tournament's most outstanding player after the Cavaliers' overtime win against Texas Tech
2:42AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
NCAA Latest: Tortillas flying at NCAA championship game
NCAA Latest: Virginia and Texas Tech play for the NCAA Tournament championship, with each looking for a first title. With Tech taking a slim lead, their fans started tossing tortillas, a football tradition. One even reached the court.
10:03PM ( 16 hours ago )
NCAA Latest: Playing for Nipsey Hussle, Francis sparks Tech
NCAA Latest: Virginia and Texas Tech play for the NCAA Tournament championship, with each looking for a first title. Brandone Francis, playing for late friend Nipsey Hussle, sparks Texas Tech with two 3-pointers
9:52PM ( 16 hours ago )
NCAA Latest: Stingy start to NCAA championship _ as expected
The national title game between Texas Tech and Virginia is under way. If the rest of the game goes like the first four minutes, good luck staying awake. Tech leads 3-2.
9:32PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Sports - NBA
Capitol Hill hearing on online hate sees it firsthand
A congressional hearing on online hate turned into a vivid demonstration of the problem when a YouTube livestream of the proceedings was bombarded with racist and anti-Semitic comments
2:05PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Loughlin, husband and 14 parents face new charge in scam
Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have been hit with a new charge in the sweeping college admissions bribery case
1:51PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Backers of Ukraine's rival presidential candidates brawl
Police have moved in to stop a scuffle between supporters of rival candidates in Ukraine's presidential election
1:42PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Prosecutor: Woman killed by officer did not touch police SUV
There was no forensic evidence an unarmed woman fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer had touched the police SUV that responded to her call about a possible sexual assault behind her home, a prosecutor said at the officer's trial Tuesday
1:40PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Suit filed over gun controls inspired by synagogue shooting
Pittsburgh's mayor has signed gun-control legislation passed by City Council in response to the synagogue massacre; suit filed to block it
1:40PM ( 28 minutes ago )