At some point during Thursday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, the Dallas Mavericks will make an announcement that Dirk Nowitzki is now the No. 10 all-time leading scorer in NBA history.
The acknowledgment will occur so the sellout crowd on hand for the 7 p.m. tip-off at American Airlines Center can give the ultra-talented forward a standing ovation.
Nowitzki moved past Oscar Robertson and into the 10th spot Tuesday night in Salt Lake City, where he scored 21 points in the Mavs’ 95-83 win over the Utah Jazz. He only needed 18 points to pass Robertson, and he got that on one of his patented ho-hum jumpers with 11:46 remaining in the game when he took a feed from Vince Carter and buried a 19-footer.
A student of the game, Nowitzki said it “kind of feels surreal” to have blown by Robertson and now has only nine legends between him and the NBA’s top scoring spot.
“You want to say that you knew from Day One what was going to happen, but that would be a lie,” Nowitzki said. “My first year was tough — I’ve stated that numerous times.
“The lockout year [in the 1998-99 season], and I had a concave chest and guys were just pushing me around. I had to get stronger and keep working on my game.”
As Nowitzki has gotten stronger over the years, coach Rick Carlisle said his superstar is “going to keep eating up more people” on the list.
The 16-year veteran is only 233 points from passing Hakeem Olajuwon, 600 points from moving by Elvin Hayes and 696 points from passing Moses Malone.
“He’s an original and he’s a generational player, and this is a once-in-25-years of a guy that comes along and changes the game,” Carlisle said. “He’s changed the game, and the modern game of basketball has changed largely for the better because of him, because of a 7-foot guy that can stretch the floor.
“He’s changed the game in so many ways. And the kind of humility and dignity that he does it with — it leaves you standing there in awe.”
The Mavs will host their sixth annual free e-cycle drive Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at American Airlines Center.
The Mavs are encouraging fans to bring old cellphones, laptops, DVD players, TVs, monitors, clocks, radios, CDs, etc. to the AAC.
Everyone who drops off an item will have his or her name automatically entered in a drawing to win a prize. Two of the top prizes are an autographed Dirk Nowitzki jersey and an autographed team basketball from the 2013-14 season.
Since going 10 for 10 from the field and scoring a season-high 23 points in 27 minutes Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers, center Brandan Wright has suddenly run into a bump.
In the past two games against the Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz, Wright has just two points in 17 minutes while converting only 1 of 7 shots.