Dirk Nowitzki made history on Tuesday night when he became the ninth highest NBA scorer of all-time during the Dallas Mavericks 106-98 win over the Sacramento Kings.
The 36-year-old has long been admired across the league for his skills and application, and Tuesday night was the perfect chance to celebrate all things Nowitzki after he surpassed Nigerian-born Hakeem Olajuwon to move ninth on the NBA’s top scoring list.
Having played 17 years in the NBA, Nowitzki has made plenty of great shots during his career, but which one of those sticks out in his mind? Well, GiveMeSport caught up with the big man the day after his record breaking night and asked him that exact question.
“That's a tough one, my friend - I've scored some great ones. The playoffs, those are the ones you remember most. The game winning layup in the finals against Miami,” Nowitzki told GiveMeSport.
“The game 7 against San Antonio in 2006 - when we beat San Antonio in Game 7, the layup to tie it with six seconds to go. I remember the 50 points against Phoenix at home. I think the playoffs are the most memorable moments because that's when the most pressure is on. The most fun to play.”
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Nowitzki needed just 17 points against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night to surpass Olajuwon on the list, with the former Houston Rockets center managing to amass 26,946 points in his Hall of Fame career.
But it was Nowitzki’s time to shine, and the Dallas Mavericks man admitted post-game on Tuesday that he is truly honored to take his place in history.
"It's an honor," Nowitzki told ESPN, who passed Olajuwon when he knocked down a midrange jumper with 8:56 remaining in the game. "To do it at home, it was even more special. Getting a standing ovation, it was great.
"Hakeem, to me, was one of the greatest. I grew up watching him in the 90s. His footwork, his touch, was next to no other. I'm really humbled to keep climbing the ladder, blessed to stay healthy, and play at a semi-high level, I guess."