Published: Sun, December 16, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Mavs’ Nowitzki set to make debut of 21st season vs Suns

Mavs’ Nowitzki set to make debut of 21st season vs Suns

Dirk Nowitzki admits he needs to get up to speed after making National Basketball Association history against the Phoenix Suns.

Nowitzki is entering his 21st season and when he steps on the floor, will become the first player in National Basketball Association history to appear for 21 seasons with a single team.

"It is good to be back", he said after the game.

"Obviously I've got a lot of work to do timing-wise, conditioning-wise".

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Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle added (via NBA.com): "All things considered he did fine, did well". It's going to be a process for me playing against National Basketball Association players, (especially) the speed of the game these days. As of now, the record for most seasons played with only one team is one he shares with Kobe Bryant who suited up for 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. "This is a challenging situation for Dirk".

Nowitzki's season was delayed because of a longer than expected recovery from left ankle surgery in April. "I respect the hell out of him for what he has done to get back on the floor". The 13-time All-Star and 2006-07 NBA MVP ranks seventh on the all-time scoring list, 232 points behind Wilt Chamberlain. With a little under three minutes to go in the first quarter, Nowitzki showed he's still capable of punishing players down low. He has a career average of 21.2 points per game but averaged just 12.0 points last season.

Nowitzki has thus far marveled at the play of the 19-year old, proclaiming him to be better than he was at the same age.

Nowitzki scored two points in 16 minutes in his National Basketball Association debut on February 5, 1999. Luka Doncic posted 13 points, grabbed 5 boards and handed out 6 assists.

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