11 April, 2019
As the 40-year-old has provided Mavericks faithful with a number of memories including the franchise's lone title in 2011, it comes as no surprise that he was honoured accordingly on such a momentous occasion.
Nowitzki never shared his retirement plans because he didn't want a farewell tour, but he also said he only began serious deliberations on retirement when his lower body gave him issues late in the season.
Struggling to contain his emotions, Nowitzki drew laughter in telling the crowd, "I'm trying my yoga breathing, but it's not really working that well". It's the longest drought of Nowitzki's career.
Nowitzki kept shooting on his busiest night of the season, finishing with highs of 31 shots (making 11) and 33 minutes.
Charles Barkley was in attendance and also paid tribute to Nowitzki, calling him "the nicest man ever". You guys always stuck with me and supported me.
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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"The fans have shown me a lot of love already on the road, even though I obviously haven't announced that this is going to be it", Nowitzki said in February.
But still, there was a basketball game to be played, and throughout the course of his brilliant, 21-year career in the league, Nowitzki has proven to be a master showman.
"All the things he did for the NBA", Doncic said.
A sellout crowd followed owner Mark Cuban's order of filling the arena early, and cheered from the first possible moment for the player who guided the Mavericks to their only championship eight years ago.
He put in seven 3-pointers in posting a season-high 51 points - one off his career best - with 26 coming in the fourth quarter, to get the Suns as close as 105-100 with 4:20 to play.