Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki makes it official that he's retiring, tells fans 'this is my last home game'

Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki has made it official: He'll be retiring at the conclusion of this season. That always seemed to be the likely conclusion, but any time he was directly asked about his plans for the future, Nowitzki was noncommittal.

That wasn't the case on Tuesday night. Following the Mavericks' victory against the Phoenix Suns, during which Nowitzki scored a season-high 30 points, the team held a heartfelt ceremony for the big German. He didn't use the word retirement, but when he got the mic, he told the fans, "this is my last home game."

The ceremony the Mavericks held for their hero after the game featured all sorts of other NBA legends, including Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen and Larry Bird. Barkley, in particular, killed during his segment, joking that Nowitzki should have gone to his alma mater, Auburn University.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban also spoke after the game, and made all sorts of promises to Nowitzki, including a job for life, a jersey retirement ceremony and a "kick-ass" statue. 

It concluded a full day, and season, of celebration for Nowitzki. Fans across the league saluted him with standing ovations when he visited their city, and he was greeted by a stream of adoring workers before the game.

It remains to be seen if Nowitzki will play in the Mavericks' season finale Wednesday night in San Antonio, but if Tuesday was indeed the last time we'll see him on the court, he went out in style.

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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