Dirk Nowitzki becomes first player to play 21 consecutive seasons for same franchise

Dallas Mavericks v New York Knicks

The Dallas Mavericks have made sure that they've brought back their team's icon this offseason by signing Dirk Nowitzki to a new one-year deal with the franchise.

Nowitzki signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Mavericks earlier this week, and this could possibly be his last contract in the NBA before retirement from the hardwood.

Upon signing the deal, the 13-time All-Star entered his name into the NBA record once more with another fantastic achievement which many future NBA players will find hard to match.

21 seasons

The Associated Press has reported that when Nowitzki signed his contract to stay in Dallas on Monday, he became the lone NBA player to ever play 21 consecutive seasons for the same team.

This beats the record set by one of his main rivals and long-time friend Kobe Bryant at the Los Angeles Lakers, who spent 20 seasons at the franchise during his playing career.

Only a handful of players will play the entirety of their career with one team, but probably not to the extent which the former MVP has done with the Mavericks.

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks

As well as being a 13-time All-Star and MVP winner, Nowitzki also delivered an NBA Championship to the Mavericks in 2011 when he helped defeat LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat.

No-Trade Clause

It's also interesting to note that Nowitzki's one-year, $5 million deal with Dallas this season doesn't include a no-trade clause. 

While the Mavericks are unlikely to trade him anyways due to his standing on the team and his cap-friendly contract, this is the first time in eight years which his contract doesn't include a no-trade clause.

The 40-year-old mentioned has said in an interview earlier in the year that he wants to play two more seasons, but he’s largely non-committal due to potential health issues that may occur. So we could see his record extend even further before he walks off into the sunset.

He is the team's all-time leader in points scored, games played, rebounds, blocks, field goals made and attempted, free throws made and attempted and 3-pointers made and attempted.

Nowitzki averaged 12 points and 5.7 rebounds in 24.7 minutes per game in 77 contests last season.

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