As Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki neared the 30,000-point mark in his storied NBA career, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James made sure to tune in and watch the German big man make history.
On Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, Nowitzki exploded for 25 points in the first half to surpass the 30,000-point mark and become only the sixth person in league history to reach the milestone.
After he was congratulated by teammates and coaches on the court, Nowitzki started receiving plenty of support on Twitter from NBA legends and fans, too.
The best message came from James, though, who posted a reaction to Dirk’s historic shot on his Uninterrupted Twitter page, excitedly congratulating the longtime Maverick in the below video:
“I’m watching the game right now,” he said. “And he on fire, too – very efficient tonight. There was no way I was missing this moment. Congratulations, that’s big time, man. Hopefully I can join you at some point, big fella. Salute.”
James will likely have a moment like that of his own next season. With 28,316 career points as of Tuesday night, LeBron is the next active player on the league’s all-time scoring list. He’s currently in eighth place, with only Shaquille O’Neal between him and Dirk.
Nowitzki scored 25 points in the first half of Tuesday night’s game and reached the 30,000-point mark with his iconic fadeaway jumper. He joins Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players in NBA history to score that many points.
In his 19-year NBA career (all of which has been spent with the Mavericks), Nowitzki has averaged 21.8 points per game. He’s only averaging 13.6 points per contest this season, but at age 38, that’s to be expected.
James, on the other hand, is only in his 14th NBA season and has averaged a whopping 27.1 points per game. If he stays healthy, he’ll add to his point total this season and reach the 30,000-point plateau sometime during the 2017-18 campaign.
LeBron and the Cavaliers don’t face Nowitzki and the Mavericks again this season, but if Dirk comes back next year, the two NBA legends will once again get to face off. And who knows – by that point LeBron may be on the verge of his own 30,000th point.
One thing is for sure, though – if and when those two share the court again, fans will be treated to a matchup of two of the best all-around scorers ever to play the game of basketball.