CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Dirk Nowitzki reached another milestone Monday night at Time Warner Cable Arena.
When Nowitzki’s 18-foot jumper put the Mavs ahead of the Charlotte Hornets 73-52 with 6:07 remaining in the third quarter, it was the 27,000th point of his illustrious career. Thus, Nowitzki joins Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant as the only NBA players to ever score as many as 27,000 points with one franchise.
As he attempted to freeze-frame this milestone following the Mavs’ surprisingly easy 107-80 victory, Nowitzki couldn’t help but take a step down memory lane.
"It means a lot to me that I was able to do it for one franchise with not knowing what to expect when I first got there a long time ago,’’ he said. "It’s been a great ride.’’
A ride Nowitzki, now in his 17th season, has thoroughly enjoyed.
"People were great to me from the beginning when I was struggling my first year (in the 1998-’99 season),’’ Nowitzki said. "They always supported me.
"Then obviously (Mark) Cuban bought the team (on Jan. 4, 2000) and he was loyal to me. So it kind of was my new home, so I’m proud of that and hopefully there’s many more baskets to come.’’