Dallas Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzki confirmed his retirement from the NBA on Tuesday, drawing curtains on a 21-season career that saw him become the greatest European player ever in the league’s history.
The 40-year-old was considering extending his career by another season but decided to announce his his retirement after the Mavericks’ 120-109 win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.
“As you guys might expect, this is my last home game,” Nowitzki said at the Dallas’s American Airlines Center.
“I’ve put you guys on a hell of a ride with a lot of ups and downs and you guys always stuck with me and supported me, and I appreciate it,” he added.
Many NBA icons were in the arena as the German bid adieu, including Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen and the Mavs’ former German power forward Detlef Schrempf.
Nowitzki ranks sixth on NBA’s all-time points scoring list with more than 31,000. He said he has no plans to leave Dallas post retirement.
“This is my new home,” Nowitzki said. “I left Germany over 20 years ago and became a Texan.”
Nowitzki was chosen as ninth pick in the 1998 NBA draft and went on to lead the Mavericks to 15 playoff appearances.
He powered the the team to their only NBA championship in 2011.
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