Dirk Nowitzki’s career stats paint a picture of why the Dallas Mavericks big man is so close to reaching 30,000 points. The German 7-footer doesn’t have much left to prove in an NBA career that moves into its 20th season this fall. Dirk turns 39 in June and has been the key reason Dallas was quite the team to beat for a good stretch.
Things have slowed down since the Mavs’ 2011 championship season, but the achievements of Nowitzki are still very palpable as his career winds down. A strained Achilles tendon took him away from early season games, but Nowitzki should still have no problem reaching 30,000 career points very soon.
30,000 points will put Dirk sixth on a list of NBA royalty. The only other players to score more than Dirk over a career are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain.
Despite the oncoming milestone, Nowitzki told ESPN in an earlier interview, “Stats is never really something I played for.” He also talked to ESPN about why he would go for another season. Apparently it’s all about nice round numbers.
“I think 20 seasons also with one team, like I’m trying to do it — I think only Kobe has done it — that’s another great accomplishment. So I kinda want to make the 20 fold. Plus that summer I’m turning 40. I think that’s also a good number to be in the league … from 20 to 40. That’s what I’m looking at.”
Harrison Barnes has begun stepping into Nowitzki’s leadership role for Dallas. After four seasons with the Golden State Warriors, coming to Dallas allowed Barnes to flourish. It has also allowed Dirk to get some much deserved rest. Barnes was one of the players brought to Dallas as a way for Golden State to free up money for Kevin Durant’s two-year, $54.3 million contract.
As Nowitzki ages and his career stats continue to multiply, Dallas’s younger generation of players like Barnes and Seth Curry hope to continue to revive the club. Seth Curry, the younger brother to Golden States’ Steph Curry, has also started to flourish this season, precisely what Mavs’ management were hoping in the midst of a generational turnover on the team.
Nowitzki has become a sports icon in Dallas. He’s been a Maverick for almost 20 years, and has represented Dallas in the NBA All-Star Game 13 times. He’s the highest scoring player born overseas in NBA history, and holds a number of all-time Dallas records. Dirk Nowitzki’s career stats only tell part of the picture of his impact on the franchise, and his superb 19-year showcase of the talent foreign born players possess in the NBA.