Dirk Nowitzki joins NBA royalty with 30,000 points

Dirk Nowitzki became the sixth player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points. A baseline jumper in the second quarter of the game against the Lakers on Tuesday night got it done for the big fella.

The beginning

Two teams were interested in Dirk Nowitzki in anticipation of the 1998 NBA draft, the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks. After negotiations between the Dallas Mavericks and the Milwaukee Bucks, Nowitzki was drafted with the ninth pick by the Bucks and then traded to the Mavericks for their sixth pick (Robert ‘Tractor’ Traylor).

“That was probably the longest eight minutes of my entire life,” Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks coach said. “I don’t think there’s any way Dirk would have gotten past 10 for sure.”

Road to 30,000 points

Since his second season in the league, Dirk has led the Mavericks in scoring. He averaged 17.5 points and played all 82 games in the 1999-00 season and went on to improve his point average in the next three seasons. Dirk’s best season as a scorer came in the 2005-06 campaign when he averaged a career high 26.6 points. He improved his shooting percentage, setting personal season records in field goals (48.0%) and three point shots (40.6%).

That same year he took the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA final against the Miami Heat. After taking a 2-0 lead in the series, Dallas lost the next four games in a row. In the 2006-07 Dirk Nowitzki won the MVP award, leading the Dallas Mavericks to franchise-high 67 wins and the first seed in the playoffs.

Five years after his first appearance in the NBA finals, Dirk and the Mavs got a re-match against the Miami Heat in the 2011 Finals. Dallas beat the Heat in six games and Dirk Nowitzki won the NBA finals MVP.

30,000 career points

Six years later, Dirk Nowitzki reached 30,000 career points joining Kobe Bryant (Lakers) and Karl Malone (Jazz) as the only players to do it with one franchise. At the age of 38, Nowitzki plans to play another season for the Mavericks. If he averages 14 points and plays all 82 games he has a shot at passing Wilt Chamberlain for number five in the all-time scoring list.

–Al Milian