The 40-year-old German had left the door open to extending his career for another season, but finally confirmed his retirement after the Mavericks' 120-109 win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. After speeches from Larry Bird and others he idolised growing up in Germany, Nowitzki told the crowd, "this is my last home game".
39-year old Jamal Crawford poured in a game-high 51 points on 18-30 shooting, including 7-13 from behind the arc, as he became the oldest player in National Basketball Association history to rack up 50 points in a single game.
Phoenix trailed by 30 at halftime (68-38) but got within four in the fourth quarter before back-to-back 3-pointers from Luka Doncic and Justin Jackson pushed the lead back to 10.
The Dallas Mavericks star almost jumped for joy with a huge smile on his face after a rare dunk prompted thunderous applause from a crowd celebrating the final home game of his record 21st season with the same franchise.
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He will go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game and one of the most entertaining players to ever watch.
Nowitzki kept shooting on his busiest night of the season, finishing with highs of 31 shots (making 11) and 33 minutes. It's the longest drought of Nowitzki's career.
Nowitzki will likely stick around Dallas after he retires; he's spent his entire career with the Mavericks, and owner Mark Cuban has gone on record saying he can have whatever job he wants after his playing days.
Bryant retired from the Lakers three years ago. "Now every big fella trying to shoot the ball from 3". Nowitzki reached that spot last season, but James passed him.
"This is my new home", Nowitzki said. I think mentally I could still do it.