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LaMarcus Aldridge thinks Mavs’ Dirk Nowitzki will be back for another season

11 April 2019

Nowitzki, 40, walked out into the court to speak to the home fans after the Mavericks' 120-109 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

He was selected to the All-Star game 14 times and also earned the NBA MVP award in 2007 and the Finals MVP in 2011. Coach Rick Carlisle said the plan is to play Nowitzki, who spent a record 21 seasons with the same franchise.

That shot had a practical objective as well, pushing the Dallas lead back to 12 after the Mavericks let a 30-point halftime cushion dwindle to four in the fourth quarter.

While many suspected 2018-19 might be Nowitzki's last season, spectators were stunned by his announcement.

Drafted straight out of Germany in 1998 as the ninth overall pick, then immediately traded from the Bucks to the Mavs for Robert "Tractor" Traylor, Nowitzki went on to etch his name in the National Basketball Association record books as the league's greatest European player.

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The final game of Nowitzki's storied career will be tonight against the Spurs.

The final bucket at home of his likely Hall of Fame career was his signature one-legged fadeaway from just above the free throw line - yes, there was a tribute video for that too, starring Kevin Durant and LeBron James.

The sellout crowd that followed owner Mark Cuban's orders by showing up early chanted "M-V-P" and "One more year" throughout the game. "I promise you a job for life".

Perhaps just as significantly, Nowitzki's playing style, as a seven-footer whose long-range shooting skills forced defenders far away from the basket, presaged the direction in which the league would head. "Now every big fella trying to shoot the ball from 3". Then he had another dunk in the game - his second of the season - in the second half. Kobe Bryant, who retired three years ago, played 20 seasons with the Lakers.

LaMarcus Aldridge thinks Mavs’ Dirk Nowitzki will be back for another season