According to sources, Dirk Nowitzki is ready to make his season debut tonight against the Phoenix Suns. The game is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET and will be shown on TSN 5.
Sources: Dirk plans to make his season debut tomorrow night vs. Suns. https://t.co/7OwRBwg5Eo- Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 13, 2018
Nowitzki is entering his 21st season and when he steps on the floor, will become the first player in NBA history to appear for 21 seasons with a single team. 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. The 13-time All-Star and 2006-07 NBA MVP ranks seventh on the all-time scoring list, 232 points behind Wilt Chamberlain.
Nowitzki has come off the bench just 31 times in his career, starting 1,585 out of 1,616 games including the regular season and playoffs. He started in all 77 games he appeared in last season, averaging 12.0 points and 5.7 rebounds in 24.7 minutes per game. He remains an incredibly efficient shooter as he connected on 40.9 percent of his three-point attempts in 2017-18, the fourth-best single-season mark of his career.
It remains to be seen what type of role Nowitki will serve on a Mavericks team that has come on strong of late. Dallas is 12-3 over its last 15 games and has the NBA's best record since November 10. Heading into Thursday's game at Phoenix, the Mavericks are in seventh in the Western Conferenc yet just 2.5 games out of first place.
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Among the most anticipated scenes will be the first time that Nowitki shares the floor with rookie sensation Luka Doncic. 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.