It’s official: Dirk Nowtizki’s NBA career will come to an end at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season. Following the Dallas Mavericks’ 120-109 win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, Nowitzki announced his decision during a postgame ceremony that looked back on his legendary career, one that included a number of his basketball idols praising him.
Nowitzki took the microphone and revealed his decision to the crowd at the American Airlines Center, and while no one is especially surprised that a 40-year-old who has been in the league for 21 seasons is hanging them up, those in attendance were still heartbroken by the news.
“As you guys might expect, this is my last home game,” Nowitzki said. He went on to thank those who are close for him before telling fans that it’s been “an amazing ride.”
Nowitzki retiring isn’t a surprise, but after a season of him saying he wanted to push back making a decision, we finally know that his journey as a player will come to an end. There’s no word on whether Nowitzki will play at all during the Mavs’ season finale on Wednesday in San Antonio, but we do know that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban isn’t letting him go anywhere once he’s retired.
We’ll assuredly see him pop up in some capacity on Wednesday, and he has things like a jersey retirement and a Hall of Fame induction on the horizon, but the game of basketball is an ever so slightly worse place now that Dirk Nowitzki is no longer a part of it. Still, the sharpshooting German leaves one hell of a legacy, as he’ll go down as the greatest international basketball player to ever live.