DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki was named to his 12th All-Star Game today.
In an announcement Thursday on TNT, the Dallas Mavericks forward was chosen as one of seven Western Conference reserves who will participate in this year's midseason classic, which will be held Feb. 16 in New Orleans.
Nowitzki was chosen to the All-Star squad 11 straight years, from 2002-12. But he had right knee surgery on Oct. 19, 2012, missed 29 games and was not selected to play in last year's All-Star Game.
Leading up to the All-Star announcement, Nowitzki said that making this year's team would validate the hard work he put in rehabilitating from last season's surgery and preparing for this season. Then after Thursday's practice, Nowitzki vowed he would be OK whether he made the team or not.
"Either way it's going to be great,'' Nowitzki said. "If I don’t go, I'm going to enjoy some time away from hoops. And if I go, then I'll represent this franchise the right way like I always have, and enjoy my time there and that's really it. I'm fine either way.''
Nowitzki is averaging 21.6 points and 6.2 rebounds while shooting 48.3 percent from the field in 32.4 minutes per game. He sounds like he is itching to get back alongside the NBA's elite.
"I went to the beach and worked on my tan last year, so that was good,'' Nowitzki said Thursday. "But it was my first year away from it. Even my first couple of years when I wasn't an All-Star I went there. I represented the Mavs in the 3-point contest. I played in the rookie transition game my first year. It was kind of like a routine. So last year was kind of weird not to go because I went my whole career.''