Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki say emotional goodbyes

Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki say emotional goodbyes

Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki say emotional goodbyes

"As you guys might expect, this is my last home game", Nowitzki told an American Airlines Center crowd that forced him to pause his postgame speech to give him an ovation.

Dirk Nowitzki, one of the greatest worldwide players to ever step on an National Basketball Association hardwood floor, announced Tuesday night he would be retiring at the end of the season.

But on this special night, Nowitzki turned back the clock, and so did the crowd as it chanted "M-V-P!"

"There's no words that I could possibly say to describe how I feel what you meant to this organization, but I can make you all kinds of promises", Cuban said.

A watch party is planned for the final game of the season in San Antonio on Wednesday, with the Mavericks long since eliminated from the playoff contention for a third straight season. You guys always stuck with me and supported me. I don't care what you do. "And we'll put it right in front of the arena".

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The German power forward played all 21 seasons with the Mavericks.

Perhaps just as significantly, Nowitzki's playing style, as a seven-footer whose long-range shooting skills forced defenders far away from the basket, presaged the direction in which the league would head. He was the first player that big to be a legitimate threat at the 3-point line.

Nowitzki, who averaged 6.6 points per game this season, went on to score the first 10 points for the Mavericks as no other Dallas player took a field-goal attempt until Devin Harris' 3-pointer at the 7:25 mark of the first quarter. Then he had another dunk in the game - his second of the season - in the second half.

"It will never be the same around here", said Rick Carlisle, who coached Nowitzki for his final 11 seasons.

He broke Kobe Bryant's record of 20 seasons with the Lakers.

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