It was a historic night for Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday. Despite the loss to the Phoenix Suns, the Mavs had a reason to celebrate.
Dirk Nowitzki made his season debut and set a new NBA record. The German legend entered his 21st NBA season, which will probably also be his final.
He reached another milestone last night, by becoming the only player in NBA history to spend 21 seasons with the same franchise. Until yesterday Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant were the only players in league history to play at least 20 years for the same team.
The 40-year-old power forward/center came off the bench and had two points and one rebound in six minutes of action. He couldn’t help Dallas win the game, as the Suns claimed an easy victory at home (99-89). Phoenix put an end to the Mavs’ three-game winning streak and spoiled Nowitzki’s season debut.
T.J. Warren led the Suns with a season-high 30 points, as Jamal Crawford added 17 and Josh Jackson 14 points. On the other hand, Harrison Barnes scored 15 points for the losing Mavs. DeAndre Jordan contributed 14 points and 15 boards, with Luka Doncic posting 13 points, five rebounds, and six assists.
Phoenix improved to 5-24, whereas Dallas dropped to 15-12.
Dirk Nowitzki will have more playing time game after game in a different role. In what could be his final NBA season, he is expected to come off the bench.
His target will be to lead his team to the playoffs and help his teammates improve their performance. Dallas will have to adjust to Nowitzki’s different role and start learning how to play without their undisputed leader. Dirk Nowitzki is considered the best European basketball player ever.