Dirk Nowitzki
German basketball player
Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Werner Nowitzki is a German professional basketball player who plays for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). An alumnus of Röntgen Gymnasium and DJK Würzburg basketball club, Nowitzki was drafted ninth overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1998 NBA Draft, and was immediately traded to the Mavericks, where he has played ever since.
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Dirk Nowitzki eclipses 30,000 career points in Mavericks' win over Lakers
LATimes - about 2 months
Only six players in NBA history have scored 30,000 career points. Three of them were Lakers when they did it, and the latest one reached the milestone against the Lakers during their Tuesday night loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki stepped back, away from Larry Nance Jr., and took that...
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LATimes article
Nowitzki says retirement 'could happen' in 2017
Yahoo News - 4 months
NBA star Dirk Nowitzki says he could retire as early as next year, but admits his dream is to play until 2018 and celebrate 20 years with the Dallas Mavericks. Nowitzki has played for the Mavericks since joining from DJK Wurzburg in 1998. The German was the NBA Finals' MVP during the team's 2011 championship year and is a 13-time NBA All-Star, but at 38-year-old is coming to the end of his career.
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NBA Mavericks easing Nowitzki back from injury
Yahoo News - 5 months
The Dallas Mavericks will slowly ease Dirk Nowitzki back into the fray as the veteran German star recovers from a lingering Achilles problem, a report said Monday. Nowitzki missed Sunday's victory over the New Orleans Pelicans after complaining of soreness in his right Achilles despite showing signs of improvement recently. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle told The Dallas Morning News he would not hesitate to rest Nowitzki as the 38-year-old battles back to fitness after playing only five of 16 games so far this season.
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NBA-Highlights of Friday's NBA games
Yahoo News - 5 months
Highlights of Friday's National Basketball Association games: Cavaliers 104, Pistons 81 Kyrie Irving scored 25 points and passed for a season-high 11 assists, LeBron James scored 21 points and Kevin Love had 12 points and 13 rebounds in a 104-81 win against the Detroit Pistons on Friday. J.R. Smith passed Dirk Nowitzki for 15th place on the 3-point career list and now has 1,706. The Pistons fell to 1-7 on the road and continued their miserable struggles away from home, shooting 31 percent.
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Knicks 93, Mavericks 77: With His Idol Looking On, Kristaps Porzingis Shines in a Knicks Win
NYTimes - 5 months
With Dallas’s Dirk Nowitzki on the sideline with an injury, Porzingis scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Knicks dispatched the Mavericks.
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NYTimes article
Mavs' Dirk Nowitzki to miss at least a week with Achilles soreness
ABC News - 6 months
Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki will miss at least a week because of lingering soreness in the 38-year-old's right Achilles tendon. "He's going to be out for a while," coach Rick Carlisle said during his news conference Friday night after the Mavs fell to 0-5 for the first time in franchise history with a 105-95 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. "We'll update you guys in about seven days. He's not going to play at least until then." Nowitzki, the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history, did not play in the second half of Friday's loss because of the soreness, which has been an issue since late in the preseason. He had five points on 2-of-6 shooting in 16 minutes during the first half. "It gets better on days off, and as soon as I go out there and try to push off, try to show on pick-and-rolls, run backwards, all that stuff is just uncomfortable and sore," Nowitzki told reporters. "So just thought I'd just shut it down. I mean, it makes no...
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ABC News article
Nowitzki will miss Mavs' home opener with stomach illness
Yahoo News - 6 months
DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki will miss Dallas' home opener against Houston with what coach Rick Carlisle described as a stomach ailment.
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Yahoo News article
Mavs' Nowitzki 'year by year' with career - ESPN
Google News - 7 months
ESPN Mavs' Nowitzki 'year by year' with career ESPN Dirk Nowitzki on how much longer he plans to play: "We'll see how next year goes, how the body responds, and then we'll make that decision next year. But obviously, I would love to play the next two years and then just see how it goes." (0:50 ... NBA star Dirk Nowitzki talks tennis history before charity eventFort Worth Star Telegram (blog) Dirk Nowitzki on why he's no good at soccer, when he'll know to retire, Kevin Durant joining the WarriorsDallas Morning News Mavs' Barnes, Acy Spread Knowledge in NBA 101NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth CW33 NewsFix all 21 news articles »
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Nowitzki rejoins Mavericks, Gasol goes to Spurs
Yahoo News - 10 months
German star forward Dirk Nowitzki has agreed to terms on a two-year deal to stay with the Dallas Mavericks, while Spanish star Pau Gasol will join the San Antonio Spurs in NBA free agency deals. Nowitzki has a two-year deal worth $40 million, The Dallas Morning News and ESPN said about the plans unveiled Tuesday, while Gasol has made a verbal agreement worth $30 million over two years. "After many days of a lot of thinking, I've decided to join the spurs! Looking forward to this new chapter with the best aspirations!" Gasol tweeted to confirm his deal.
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Dirk Nowitzki to sign two-year deal with Mavericks
LATimes - 10 months
Dirk Nowitzki's new contract will give the Dallas forward a chance spend 20 seasons with the only franchise he has ever played for. The Mavericks and Nowitzki have reached agreement on a two-year, $40-million contract, a person with knowledge of the deal told the Associated Press on condition of...
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LATimes article
List of NBA Finals MVP winners
Yahoo News - 10 months
List of NBA Finals Most Valuable Player winners: 2016 - LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers 2015 - Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors 2014 - Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs 2013 - LeBron James, Miami Heat 2012 - LeBron James, Miami Heat 2011 - Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks 2010 - Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers 2009 - Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers 2008 - Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics 2007 - Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs 2006 - Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat 2005 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs 2004 - Chauncey Billups, Detroit Pistons 2003 - Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs 2002 - Shaquille O'Neal, ...
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Nowitzki not retiring, all but certain to return to Mavs
Yahoo News - 12 months
DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki is not retiring and almost certainly will spend a 19th season with the Mavericks.
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Yahoo News article
Nowitzki keen to stay with Mavs, but no interest in rebuild
Yahoo News - 12 months
Picturing Dirk Nowitzki playing for anyone other than the Dallas Mavericks would take some getting used to and the German forward hopes he never has reason to slip out of the silver and blue. Following Monday's season-ending loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder many wondered if Nowitzki, who has not been beyond the first round of the playoffs since leading Dallas to an NBA title in 2011, will opt out of his contract and become a free agent.
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Yahoo News article
The Most-Stolen Move in the NBA
Wall Street Journal - 12 months
Dirk Nowitzki’s iconic one-legged shot has been lifted so liberally by players across the league that opponents now use it against him.
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Wall Street Journal article
Mavericks Clinch Playoff Spot With 101-92 Win Over Jazz
NYTimes - about 1 year
Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 and the Dallas Mavericks clinched the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference playoffs with a 101-92 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday night, leaving one remaining postseason slot.
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NYTimes article
Mavs Beat Grizzlies, Close In on Playoffs After Barea Injury
NYTimes - about 1 year
Dirk Nowitzki ended a shooting slump and returned to his rightful place as the leading scorer for Dallas.
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NYTimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Dirk Nowitzki
  • 2016
    2016–17 season On July 27, 2016, Nowitzki re-signed with the Mavericks on a two-year, $50 million contract.
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    In January 2016, Nowitzki officially announced his retirement from Germany's national team.
    More Details Hide Details In his career with Germany's senior men's national team, he averaged 19.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Nowitzki is a versatile frontcourt player who mostly plays the power forward position, but has also played center and small forward throughout his career. An exceptional shooter for his size, Nowitzki has made 88% of his free throws, nearly 50% of his field goal attempts and nearly 40% of his 3-point shots, and won the 2006 NBA All-Star Three-Point Shootout competition. In 2006–07, Nowitzki became only the fifth member of the NBA's 50–40–90 Club for players who shot 50% or better from the field, 40% or better on three-pointers, and 90% or better on free-throws in a single season while achieving the NBA league minimum number of makes in each category. Throughout Nowitzki's career, he has responded to the increased pressure of the playoffs by increasing his productivity. As of the end of the 2013–14 season, he had averaged 22.5 points and 8.1 rebounds in the regular season. In the playoffs, he has averaged 25.6 points and 10.1 rebounds, which only Hakeem Olajuwon, Bob Pettit and Elgin Baylor have managed to do. In the most pressure packed games, such as playoff elimination games he averages 28.8 points, 11.8 rebounds. He has had 14 elimination games where he scored 30 or more points, which ties him with Jerry West for most all time.
  • 2015
    In 2015, Nowitzki captained Germany at the EuroBasket.
    More Details Hide Details They won only one game, and were eliminated in the group stage, on home soil.
    2015–16 season On November 11, 2015, Nowitzki scored a season-high 31 points in a 118–108 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
    More Details Hide Details He also grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds and passed former teammate Shawn Marion for 15th on the all-time career rebounding list. On December 12, in a loss to the Washington Wizards, he moved past Jason Richardson for 16th all-time in three-point shots made, finishing the game with 1,609 career three-pointers. On December 23, Nowitzki moved past Shaquille O'Neal into sixth place on the NBA's career scoring list, then made the go-ahead basket with 19.2 seconds left in overtime to help the Mavericks defeat the Brooklyn Nets, 119–118. On January 12, in an overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he became the 14th NBA player to reach 46,000 career minutes. On January 18, he tied a season high with 31 points and had 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season in a 118–113 overtime win over the Boston Celtics. On February 21, he scored 18 points against the Philadelphia 76ers, becoming the sixth player in NBA history to reach 29,000 career points. Three days later, he set a new season high with 33 points in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. On March 20, he set another season high mark with 40 points in a 132–120 overtime win over the Portland Trail Blazers. His 20th career 40-point game was his first since January 2014, and the first by a 37-year-old since Karl Malone in 2000–01. On April 11, in a win over the Utah Jazz that clinched the Mavericks a spot in the playoffs for the 15th time in 16 years, Nowitzki hit four three-pointers, becoming the 15th player in NBA history with at least 1,700 career triples.
    He went on to pass Moses Malone for seventh place on the NBA's all-time scoring list on January 5, 2015 in a 96–88 overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets.
    More Details Hide Details He recored his 10,000th career rebound on March 24 against the San Antonio Spurs, and scored his 28,000th career point on April 1 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Mavericks finished the regular season as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference with a record of 50–32. They faced the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs and lost the series in five games.
  • 2014
    On November 11, 2014, Nowitzki scored 23 points to surpass Hakeem Olajuwon as the highest-scoring player born outside the United States, as the Mavericks came from 24 points down to defeat Sacramento 106–98 for their 21st straight regular-season win at home against the Kings.
    More Details Hide Details Nowitzki hit a jumper from just inside the three-point line early in the fourth quarter to pass Olajuwon at No. 9, and he finished the night at 26,953 career points. Six days later, Nowitzki became the fourth player in NBA history to eclipse 27,000 career points with the same franchise, joining a prestigious group that includes Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant. On December 26 against the Los Angeles Lakers, Nowitzki passed Elvin Hayes for eighth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
    2014–15 season On July 15, 2014, Nowitzki re-signed with the Mavericks to a reported three-year, $25 million contract.
    More Details Hide Details He was also reunited with former championship teammate Tyson Chandler, who was traded to Dallas after a 3-year stint with New York. Also to come over from New York was point guard Raymond Felton. The Mavericks made big strides in the off-season to put Dirk with some considerable talent, signing a rising small forward Chandler Parsons and veteran point guard Jameer Nelson. The Mavericks later signed former championship teammate J. J. Barea after the Timberwolves waived him.
    On April 8, 2014, Nowitzki scored his 26,712th point, passing Oscar Robertson to move to the 10th position on the all-time scoring list.
    More Details Hide Details Nowitzki led the Mavericks back to the Playoffs where they would face their in state rival San Antonio Spurs in the first round. Dallas lost the series in seven games and the Spurs went on to win the NBA championship.
    On March 12, 2014, in a 108–101 victory over the Utah Jazz, Nowitzki finished the game with 31 points and passed John Havlicek on the NBA scoring list with 26,426 points.
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    On January 29, 2014, Nowitzki scored his 26,000 point in a 115–117 loss to the Houston Rockets.
    More Details Hide Details In 35 minutes of play, he recorded 38 points, 17 rebounds and 3 assists.
  • 2013
    On December 23, 2013, in a 111–104 victory over the Houston Rockets, Nowitzki finished the game with 31 points and passed Alex English on the NBA scoring list with 25,631 points.
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    On November 20, 2013, in a 123–120 victory over the Houston Rockets, Nowitzki finished the game with 35 points and passed Reggie Miller on the NBA scoring list with 25,298 points.
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    On November 12, 2013, in a 105–95 victory over the Washington Wizards, Nowitzki finished the game with 19 points and passed Jerry West on the NBA scoring list with 25,197 points.
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    On April 14, 2013, after a fade away jumper in a game against the New Orleans Hornets, Nowitzki became the 17th player in NBA history to score 25,000 points.
    More Details Hide Details The Mavs went on to win the game, climbing back up to .500 with a 40–40 record and Nowitzki shaved his beard. However the Mavericks missed the playoffs for the first time since Nowitzki's second season, ending their 12-year playoff streak. 2013–14 season At the start of the season, the Mavs let go of players they had signed the year before like O.J. Mayo, Chris Kaman, Elton Brand and Darren Collison to make room for the signing of shooting guard Monta Ellis and point guard Devin Harris.
    In January 2013, Nowizki and some of his teammates (including Mayo, Brand, Kaman, Carter and then teammate Dahntay Jones) made a pact not to shave their beards until the team reached .500.
    More Details Hide Details They were often called "The Beard Bros."
  • 2012
    He returned on December 23, 2012, in a game against San Antonio.
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    Nowitzki underwent knee surgery in October 2012 and missed the first 27 games of the season.
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    The couple got married on July 20, 2012, at Nowitzki's home in Dallas.
    More Details Hide Details They have a daughter, born in July 2013 and a son, born in March 2015. Though Nowitzki has considered acquiring U.S. citizenship, he remains a German national. Nowitzki acknowledged close ties to his mentor Holger Geschwindner, whom he called his best friend. He is also good friends with his ex-teammate Steve Nash. Nash said of playing with Nowitzki, "We were both joining a new club, living in a new city, we were both single and outsiders: this creates a bond. He made life easier for me and I for him.... Our friendship was something solid in a very volatile world." Nowitzki added, "He would have also become a good friend if we had met at the supermarket." Nowitzki's career has been chronicled in books. Dirk Nowitzki: German Wunderkind, written by German sports journalists Dino Reisner and Holger Sauer, was published in 2004 by CoPress Munich. The 160-page hardcover book follows Nowitzki's beginnings in his native Würzburg, documents his entry and ascent in the NBA, and ends at the beginning of the 2004–05 NBA season.
    Nowitzki scored 31 points in the second half against Houston on April 18, 2012, including 21 in the fourth quarter.
    More Details Hide Details It marked the third-highest scoring half by a Dallas player in franchise history. The 21 points in the fourth quarter also represented Nowitzki's third-highest scoring quarter of his career. Carrying the load of the Mavericks, Nowitzki led his team in scoring 45 times. On March 30, he led the Mavs down from 15 points, including a game winner, against the Magic. Nowitzki's streak of 11 seasons with 1,500 points came to an end after scoring 1,342 in the shortened NBA season. The Mavs clinched the seventh spot in the West, and were matched against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 NBA Playoffs. The Thunder swept the Mavs in 4 games. 2012–13 season After failing to sign coveted free agents Deron Williams and Steve Nash, the Mavericks retooled their roster by letting go of Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Brendan Haywood, and acquiring younger players such as O. J. Mayo, Darren Collison, as well as veteran big men Chris Kaman and Elton Brand. Nowitzki plans to play out the remainder of his 4-year, 80 million dollar contract that expires in 2014.
    He then passed Charles Barkley for 19th, and scored his 24,000th point on April 15, 2012 against the Lakers.
    More Details Hide Details Nowitzki blocked a shot by the Celtics' Avery Bradley, which was his 1,000th block. He became one of only 3 players in NBA history with at least 1,000 3-pointers and blocks, joining Clifford Robinson and Rasheed Wallace. Nowitzki made his 11th straight All-Star game appearance in Orlando.
    Nowitzki received his championship ring on January 25, 2012.
    More Details Hide Details After scoring his 23,335th point, Nowitzki passed Robert Parish on the all-time scoring list at #20.
  • 2011
    For the 2011 playoffs, Nowitzki averaged 27.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 21 games.
    More Details Hide Details 2011–12 season As Dallas celebrated their title, the NBA was in a lockout. It ended on December 8, 2011. The defending champions lost core players, such as DeShawn Stevenson, J.J. Barea, Peja Stojaković, and Tyson Chandler, while adding veteran all-star Vince Carter, Lamar Odom, and Delonte West in free agency. The Mavericks played only two preseason games, which led to a slow start for Nowitzki. Soon, Nowitzki became the 98th player in NBA history to play in 1,000 games.
    Despite missing 9 games, Nowitzki was selected to the 2011 All-Star Game, his tenth appearance.
    More Details Hide Details The Mavericks concluded the regular season with 57 wins, seeding third behind the Spurs and Lakers for the 2011 NBA Playoffs. During the playoffs, despite their seeding, many predicted that Dallas would lose in the first round to Portland, and after blowing a 23-point fourth-quarter lead in Game 4 to even the series at 2–2, the Mavericks appeared ready for another postseason collapse. However, Dallas won the final two games to advance. They then swept the two-time defending champion Lakers in the semifinals in Phil Jackson's final year as an NBA coach. In the Conference Finals, they faced the Oklahoma City Thunder and their All-NBA duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. In Game 1, Nowitzki scored 48 points while shooting 12/15 from the field while setting an NBA record of 24 consecutive free throws made in a game as well as most free throws in a game without a miss. In Game 4, with Dallas up, 2–1, Nowitzki scored 40 points to rally his team from a 99–84 deficit in the fourth quarter with 5 minutes left and eventually win, 112–105, in OT to take a 3–1 series lead. Dallas overcame another fourth-quarter deficit in Game 5 to win the Western Conference Title. In the 2011 NBA Finals, Dallas once again faced the Heat, which had acquired All-Stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh before the season began. During the Game 1 loss in Miami, he tore a tendon in his left middle finger; however, MRIs were negative, and Nowitzki vowed that the injury would not be a factor.
  • 2010
    In 2010, Nowitzki met and began dating Jessica Olsson, sister of twin Swedish footballers Martin Olsson and Marcus Olsson.
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    In July 2010 he said that he would skip the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
    More Details Hide Details In Summer 2011, Nowitzki played with Germany in the EuroBasket 2011, where the team reached ninth place.
    Despite being a free agent, on July 5, 2010, Nowitzki agreed to remain with Dallas by re-signing to a four-year, $80 million deal. 2010–11 championship season The most significant change to the 2010–11 team roster was the arrival of Tyson Chandler via trade.
    More Details Hide Details Nowitzki was injured in the middle of the season, during which the Mavericks recorded their worst losing streak in over a decade. Nowitzki finished the regular season with averages of 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists.
    He was selected to the 2010 All-Star Game, his ninth appearance.
    More Details Hide Details The Mavericks faced off against San Antonio once more in the first round of the playoffs, but for the third time in four seasons, they failed to progress to the next round. Nowitzki was the only consistent player throughout the series for the Mavericks, averaging 26.7 points per outing, while Jason Terry, second-leading scorer for the Mavericks, averaged 12.7 points per game compared to his 16.6 regular season.
    On January 13, 2010, Nowitzki became the 34th player in NBA history—and the first European—to hit the 20,000-point milestone, while ending the regular season with averages of 25 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1 block.
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  • 2009
    In 2009, Nowitzki skipped the 2009 FIBA European Championships.
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    He also made the 2009 All-Star game, his eighth appearance.
    More Details Hide Details Nowitzki led Dallas to a tight finish towards the playoffs, finishing 50–32 for the season (6th in the West), after a slow 2–7 start. In the playoffs, the German led Dallas to an upset win over long-time rival San Antonio (the third seed), winning the first-round series, 4–1. The Mavericks, however, fell short against the Denver Nuggets, 4–1, in the second round, with Nowitzki averaging 34.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 4 assists in the series. 2009–10 season The Mavericks finished the 2009–10 NBA season as the second seed for the 2010 NBA Playoffs—it was their 10th consecutive season with at least 50 regular season wins. Notable additions to the squad were multiple All-Stars Shawn Marion and Caron Butler, with the latter coming in the second half of the season.
  • 2008
    Nowitzki was chosen to be the flag bearer for the German Olympic Team at the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Olympics.
    More Details Hide Details Nowitzki led the German team to a tenth-place finish, and averaged 17. points, and 7.6 rebounds for the tournament.
    2008–09 season The 2008–09 NBA season saw Nowitzki finish with averages of 25.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists.
    More Details Hide Details He was fourth in the league in scoring, and garnered his fourth All-NBA First Team selection.
    The few positive highlights that season for Nowitzki were his first career triple-double against the Milwaukee Bucks on February 6, 2008, with 29 points, 10 rebounds, and a career-high 12 assists, and on March 8, 2008 (34 points against the New Jersey Nets), when he surpassed Rolando Blackman with his 16,644th point to become the Mavericks' all-time career points leader.
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  • 2007
    In the 2007 FIBA European Championship, in which the top three teams automatically qualified for the 2008 Olympics, Nowitzki led Germany to a fifth place.
    More Details Hide Details He was the leading scorer with 24. points per game. The fifth place meant that Germany fell short of direct qualification, but was allowed to participate in the 2008 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Nowitzki led Germany into a decisive match against Puerto Rico for the last remaining slot. In that crucial match, he scored a game-high 32 points and was vital for the 96–82 win which sent the German basketball team to their first Olympics since the 1992 Summer Olympics.
    2007–08 season The 2007–08 campaign saw another first-round playoffs exit for Nowitzki and his Mavericks.
    More Details Hide Details Despite a mid-season trade that sent veteran NBA All-Star Jason Kidd to Dallas, the Mavericks finished seventh in a highly competitive Western Conference. Nowitzki averaged 23.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and a career-high 3.5 assists for the season. In the playoffs, they faced rising star Chris Paul's New Orleans Hornets, and were eliminated in five games. The playoff loss led to the firing of Avery Johnson as head coach and the eventual hiring of Rick Carlisle.
    He shot a career-best 50.2% from the field, and recorded averages of 24.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 3.4 assists and led the Mavericks to a franchise-high 67 wins, which meant Dallas earned the first seed of the 2007 NBA Playoffs.
    More Details Hide Details He averaged 50% from the field, 40% for three pointers, and 90% from the free throw line becoming, at the time, only the fourth player in NBA history to join the 50–40–90 club. Nowitzki was touted as the overwhelming favorite for the Most Valuable Player award, and was expected to lead the Mavericks to an easy win against the eighth-seed Golden State Warriors, despite the Warriors having won all three regular-season meetings against Dallas. However, the Mavericks ended up losing to the Warriors in six games, marking the first time a #8 seed had beaten the #1 in a best-of-seven series in NBA history. In the clinching Game 6, Nowitzki shot just 2–13 from the field for only eight points. Defended by Stephen Jackson, Nowitzki averaged nearly five points less than his regular-season average in that series and shot 38.3% from the field as compared to 50.2% during the regular season. He described that loss as a low point in his career: "This series, I couldn't put my stamp on it the way I wanted to. That's why I'm very disappointed." In spite of this historic playoffs loss, Nowitzki was named the NBA's regular-season Most Valuable Player and beat his friend and back-to-back NBA MVP Nash with more than 100 votes. He also became the first European player in NBA history to receive the honor.
  • 2006
    In the 2006 FIBA World Championships, Nowitzki led the German team to an eighth place and commented: "It's tough luck.
    More Details Hide Details But overall, finishing eighth in the world is not bad."
    2006–07 MVP season The 2006–07 season was the year Nowitzki was named the league's Most Valuable Player.
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    The Mavericks advanced to the Western Conference Finals, where they again met the Suns. Nowitzki scored 50 points to lead the Mavericks to a victory in the crucial Game 5 with the series tied at 2; the Mavericks won the series in six games and faced the Miami Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals.
    More Details Hide Details A content Nowitzki commented: "We've been a good road team all season long, we believed in each other. We went through some ups and downs this season, but the playoffs are all about showing heart and playing together." The Mavericks took an early 2–0 lead, but then gave away a late 15-point lead in a Game 3 loss and finally fell to a scoring onslaught by Heat Finals MVP Dwyane Wade: Wade scored at least 36 points in the next four games, all of which the Heat won. Nowitzki only made 20 of his last 55 shots in the final three games as the Mavericks lost the Finals series, 4–2, to the Heat. The German was criticized by ESPN as "clearly... not as his best this series" and remarked: "That was a tough loss (in Game 3) and that really changed the whole momentum of the series.... After that, they got confidence. They played a lot better afterwards."
    During the 2006 All-Star Weekend in Houston, Nowitzki scored 18 points to defeat Seattle SuperSonics guard Ray Allen and Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas in the Three-Point Shootout contest.
    More Details Hide Details Nowitzki paced Dallas to a 60-win season. The team finished with the third-best record in the league, behind the defending champion San Antonio Spurs and defending Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons. As in the 2004–05 season, he finished third in the league's MVP voting, this time behind Nash and LeBron James. He was again elected to the first team All-NBA squad. Nowitzki confirmed his superstar status during the playoffs as he averaged 27. points, 11.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists. The Mavericks swept the Memphis Grizzlies, 4–0, with Nowitzki scored a clutch three-pointer in the closing seconds of Game 3 which tied the game and forced overtime. In the Western Conference Semifinals, the Mavericks played against the San Antonio Spurs again. After splitting the first six games, the Mavericks took a 20-point lead in Game 7 before Spur Manu Ginóbili broke a tie at 101 by hitting a 3 with 30 seconds left. On the next play, Nowitzki completed a three-point play, which tied the game at 104. In the end, the Mavericks won, 119–111, and Nowitzki ended the game with 37 points and 15 rebounds. Nowitzki commented: "I don't know how the ball went in. Manu hit my hand. It was a lucky bounce."
    Nowitzki led the Mavericks to 15 NBA Playoffs (2001–2012; 2014–2016), including the franchise's first Finals appearance in 2006 and only championship in 2011.
    More Details Hide Details He is a 13-time All-Star, a 12-time All-NBA Team member, and the first European player to start in an All-Star Game as well as the first to receive the NBA Most Valuable Player Award (2007). Nowitzki is the highest-scoring foreign-born player in NBA-history, currently being ranked 6th in all-time scoring with over 29,000 regular-season points. He is also one of seven players who achieved a 50–40–90 season (2007). He is the first Maverick voted onto an All-NBA Team and holds several all-time Mavericks franchise records. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Nowitzki are the only players to achieve four consecutive 30-point, 15-rebound post-season games (2001–2002).
  • 2005
    In the 2005 FIBA European Championship, Nowitzki came back strong.
    More Details Hide Details He surprisingly led a depleted German squad into the Finals, beating title favorites Slovenia in the quarter-finals and Spain in the semi-finals on the way. Eurobasket pundits praised Nowitzki in both matches: against Slovenia (76–62), the forward scored a game high 22 points and commented: "The Slovenians underestimated us. They said we were the team they wanted and that was wrong, you shouldn't do that in the quarter-finals." Against Spain (74–73), Nowitzki scored a game-high 27 points and scored the decisive basket: down by one and with only a few seconds to go, he drove on Spanish forward Jorge Garbajosa, and hit a baseline jump shot over Garbajosa's outstretched arms with 3.9 seconds to go. The German later commented: "It was indescribable. Garbajosa kind of pushed me towards the baseline so I just went with it." Despite losing the Finals, 78–62, to the Greeks, Nowitzki was the tournament's leading scorer (26.7 ppg) and second-leading rebounder (10.8 rpg) and shot blocker (1.8 bpg), and was voted Most Valuable Player of the tournament. When he was subbed out towards the end of the final, Nowitzki received standing ovation from the crowd, which he later recalled as "one of the best moments of his career".
    2005–06 season Prior to the 2005–06 NBA season, veteran Mavericks captain Michael Finley was waived over the summer, and now Nowitzki was the last player remaining from the Mavericks' "Big Three" of Nash, Finley, and himself.
    More Details Hide Details Nowitzki blossomed as the sole franchise player, averaging 26.6 points, 9. rebounds, and 2.8 assists. Not only was this his third 2,000-point season, but his scoring average of 26.6 points was highest ever by a European. He improved his shooting percentage, setting personal season records in field goals (48.0%), three-point shots (40.6%) and free throws (90.1%).
  • 2004
    On December 2, 2004, Nowitzki scored 53 points in an overtime win against the Houston Rockets, a career best.
    More Details Hide Details As a reward, Nowitzki was voted to the All-NBA First Team for the first time. He also placed third in the league's MVP voting, behind Nash and Shaquille O'Neal. By being elected to the All-NBA First Team, Nowitzki became the first player who did not attend a United States high school or college to be on the All-NBA First Team. However, the Mavericks had a subpar 2005 NBA Playoffs campaign. In the first round, Dallas met Houston Rockets scoring champion Tracy McGrady and 7–6 center Yao Ming, and Nowitzki was expected to average high figures against unheralded forward Ryan Bowen: nba.com described Bowen as "overmatched" versus the German. Instead, Bowen limited Nowitzki to just 21 points in Game 1 and 26 points in Game 2, where the latter hit 8 of 26 shots from the field. The Rockets took a 2–0 series lead before the Mavericks won three games in a row. After losing Game 6, Dallas won Game 7 convincingly and won the series even though Nowitzki struggled with his shooting. In the Western Conference Semifinals, the Mavericks met the Phoenix Suns, the new club of Nash. They split the first four games, before the Suns won the last two games. In Game 6, which the Mavericks lost in overtime, Nowitzki was again not at his best: he scored 28 points, but also sank only 9 of his 25 field goal attempts; in addition, he was visibly irritated, repeatedly shouting at his teammates and missing all five of his shots in OT.
  • 2003
    The 2003 FIBA European Championship proved to be a major disappointment for Nowitzki and his German squad.
    More Details Hide Details In a preparation game, he suffered a foot injury after a collision with French player Florent Piétrus; as a result, Nowitzki played inconsistently and was also often target of hard fouls. In the decisive second round match against Italy (only the winner was allowed to play the medal round), Germany lost, 86–84, finished ninth and did not qualify for the 2004 Olympic Games. Nowitzki scored 22.5 points per game (third overall), but in general seemed to lack focus and dominance due to his injury.
    He led the Mavericks to a franchise-high 60–22 record, which earned them the third seed: as a result, the Mavericks had to play sixth seed Portland Trail Blazers in the 2003 NBA Playoffs.
    More Details Hide Details Now playing in a best-of-seven series instead of the former best-of-five, the Mavs quickly won the first three games, but then completely lost their rhythm and the next three. In Game 7, Portland held the game close, but Nowitzki hit a clutch three to make it 100–94 with 1:21 left and the Mavs won 107–95. "This was the most important basket of my career", he later said, "I was not prepared to go on vacation that early." He later added in an ESPN interview: "We had to be more physical in the paint and rebound the ball. We worked hard all season to get the home-court advantage and we used that advantage today." In the next round, the Mavericks met the Kings again. After losing Game 1 at home 124–113, Nowitzki (25 points) and veteran sixth man Van Exel (36) led Dallas to a spectacular 132–110 Game 2 win in which the Mavericks scored 83 points in the first half. Helped by the fact that Kings star forward Chris Webber injured his meniscus, Nowitzki and Van Exel led the Mavericks to a 141–137 OT win in Game 3, before dropping Game 4 99–83, where Nowitzki only scored 11 points and was ejected after angrily kicking over a load of towels. After splitting the next two games, Nowitzki delivered a clutch performance in Game 7, scoring 30 points, grabbing 19 rebounds and playing strong defense, and led the Mavericks to a series-deciding 112–99 win.
  • 2002
    Nowitzki finally earned his first medal when he led Germany to a bronze medal in the 2002 World Championship.
    More Details Hide Details In the quarter-finals against the Pau Gasol-led Spain, Spain was up 52–46 after three quarters, but then Nowitzki scored 10 points in the last quarter and led Germany to a 70–62 win. In the semi-finals, his team played against the Argentinian squad led by Manu Ginóbili, but despite leading, 74–69, four minutes from the end and despite Argentina losing Ginobili to a foot injury, the South Americans won, 86–80. However, the Germans won 117–94 against New Zealand in the consolation finals and won bronze, and tournament top scorer Nowitzki (24. ppg) was elected MVP. Back in Germany, over 4 million television viewers followed the games, an all-time record in German basketball history.
    The Mavericks won their first eleven games, and Finley, Nash and Nowitzki were voted "Western Conference Players of the Month" in November 2002.
    More Details Hide Details In that season, Nowitzki lifted his averages again, now scoring 25.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3. assists per game. In addition, the German had 41 double-double games, the seventh highest figure that season. By averaging 25.1, he became the first European to score 2,000 points in a season. As a reward, he was voted into the All-Star Game and the All-NBA Second Team again, and was also runner-up in the "German Athlete of the Year" election, only losing to ski jumper Sven Hannawald.
    The Mavericks swept Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the 2002 NBA Playoffs 3–0: Nowitzki outscored Garnett with 33.3 points per game versus 24..
    More Details Hide Details In the second round, the Mavericks met the Sacramento Kings with rival power forward Chris Webber. After splitting the first two games, Kings coach Rick Adelman changed his defensive scheme: before, Webber had defended Nowitzki one-on-one, but now, the Kings coach ordered his smaller but quicker player Hedo Türkoğlu to cover Nowitzki. Türkoğlu would use his agility to play Nowitzki tightly, and if the taller Maverick tried to post up Türkoğlu, Webber would double team Nowitzki. In Game 3 in Dallas, the Mavericks lost, 125–119; Nowitzki scored only 19 points and said: "I simply could not pass Türkoğlu, and if I did, I ran into a double team and committed too many turnovers." In Game 4, more frustration awaited the German: the Mavericks gave away a 14-point lead, although the entire Kings starting frontcourt of center Vlade Divac and power forward Chris Webber (both fouled out) and small forward Peja Stojaković (injury) were eliminated in the closing stages of the game. Nowitzki missed two potentially game deciding jump shots, and the Mavericks lost, 115–113, at home. In Game 5, the demoralised Mavericks were no match for the spirited Kings, lost, 114–101, and were eliminated again. Among others, nba.com remarked that the Kings defended better than the Mavericks: in those five games, the statisticians counted 115 Sacramento layups against the Mavericks, meaning the Kings averaged 23 uncontested baskets (i.e., 46 easy points) per game.
    He was named the Euroscar European Basketball Player of the Year by the Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport for five years running from 2002 to 2006 and again in 2011.
    More Details Hide Details He was also named the Mister Europa European Player of the Year by the Italian sports magazine Superbasket in 2005, and the FIBA Europe Men's Player of the Year twice in 2005 and 2011. On December 18, 2011, Nowitzki was named the 2011 German Sports Personality of the Year, the first basketball player to receive the award. On December 10, 2012, he became the first non-American player to receive the Naismith Legacy Award. Born in Würzburg, Germany, Nowitzki comes from an athletic family: his mother Helga Nowitzki (née Bredenbröcker) was a professional basketball player and his father Jörg-Werner was a handball player who represented Germany at the highest international level. His older sister Silke Nowitzki, a local champion in track and field, also became a basketball player and now works for the NBA in International TV. Nowitzki was a very tall child; most of the time he stood above his peers by a foot or more. He initially played handball and tennis, but soon grew tired of being called a "freak" for his height and eventually turned to basketball. After joining the local DJK Würzburg, the 15-year-old attracted the attention of former German international basketball player Holger Geschwindner, who spotted his talent immediately and offered to coach him individually two to three times per week. After getting both the approval of Nowitzki and his parents, Geschwindner put his student through an unorthodox training scheme: he emphasized shooting and passing exercises, and shunned weight training and tactical drills, because he felt it was "unnecessary friction".
    Nowitzki led the German national basketball team to a bronze medal in the 2002 FIBA World Championship and silver in EuroBasket 2005, and was the leading scorer and MVP in both tournaments.
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  • 2001
    In the 2001 FIBA European Championship, Nowitzki was top scorer with 28.7 points per game, and narrowly lost the MVP vote to Serbian player Peja Stojaković.
    More Details Hide Details Germany reached the semifinals and were close to beating host nation Turkey, but Hedo Turkoglu hit a 3-point buzzer beater to tie it, and the Turks eventually won in overtime. Germany then lost 99–90 against Spain, and did not win a medal. However, with averages of 28.7 points and 9.1 rebounds, Nowitzki led the tournament in both statistics, and was voted to the All-Star team. Back home, the German basketball team attracted up to 3.7 million television viewers, a German basketball record at the time.
    2001–02 season Prior to the 2001–02 NBA season, Nowitzki signed a six-year, $90 million contract extension, which made him the second highest-paid German athlete after Formula One champion Michael Schumacher.
    More Details Hide Details He continued to improve, now averaging 23.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, was voted into the All-NBA Second Team and into his first All-Star Game. He also had 13 games with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds, third behind Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan. Powered by new recruit Nick Van Exel, who became a high-scoring sixth man, the Mavericks "Big Three" convincingly made the playoffs with a 57–25 record.
  • 2000
    2000–01 season In the 2000–01 NBA season, Nowitzki further improved his averages, recording 21.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
    More Details Hide Details Now playing the power forward position, he became the second player in NBA history after Robert Horry to score 100 3-pointers and 100 blocks in the regular season by registering 151 and 101, respectively. As a sign of his growing importance, he joined team captain Finley as only one of two Mavericks to play and start in all 82 games and had 10 games in which he scored at least 30 points. Nowitzki became the first Maverick ever to be voted into the All-NBA squads, making the Third Team. In addition, his best friend Nash became a valuable point guard, and with Finley scoring more than ever, pundits were calling this trio the "Big Three" of the Mavericks. Posting a 53–29 record in the regular season, the Mavericks reached the playoffs for the first time since 1990. As the fifth seed, they were paired against the Utah Jazz of all-time assist leader John Stockton and second all-time leading scorer Karl Malone. After losing the first two games, Nowitzki scored 33 points in Games 3 and 4 and helped to tie the series. In Game 5, the Mavericks trailed the entire game until Calvin Booth made a lay-up that put them ahead, 84–83, with 9.8 seconds left. Jazz players Bryon Russell and Malone missed last-second shots and the Mavericks won, setting up a meeting with Texas rivals San Antonio Spurs. The Mavericks lost the first three games, and Nowitzki fell ill with flu and later lost a tooth after a collision with Spurs guard Terry Porter.
    On January 4, 2000, he sold the Mavericks to Internet billionaire Mark Cuban for $280 million.
    More Details Hide Details Cuban quickly invested into the Mavericks and restructured the franchise, attending every game at the sidelines, buying the team a $46 million six-star Boeing 757 for traveling, and increasing franchise revenues to over $100 million. Nowitzki lauded Cuban: "He created the perfect environment... we only have to go out and win." As a result of Nelson's tutelage, Cuban's improvements and his own progress, Nowitzki significantly improved his averages. The second-year pro now averaged 17.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in 35.8 minutes, had nine double-double games, and scored a career-high 32 points twice. He was voted runner-up in the NBA Most Improved Player Award behind Jalen Rose, and made it into the NBA All-Star Sophomore squad along with peers Paul Pierce and Vince Carter. In the traditional Rookie-Sophomore match, he scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists in an overtime loss against the rookie team led by Steve Francis and Lamar Odom. The Nowitzki also was chosen for the NBA All-Star Three Point Shootout, becoming the tallest player ever to participate. After draining 15 shots in the first shootout, he entered the final round, where he finished as runner-up to Jeff Hornacek. While he improved on an individual level, the Mavericks missed the playoffs after a mediocre 40–42 season.
  • 1999
    In his debut tournament, the 1999 FIBA European championship, the 21-year-old rookie emerged as the main German scorer, but Germany finished seventh and failed to qualify for the 2000 Olympic Games.
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    1999–2000 season In the 1999–2000 NBA season, Don Nelson wanted to use Nowitzki as a point forward to make use of his passing skills.
    More Details Hide Details However, one of the most important moves was made off the hardwood: until then, the owner of the Mavericks was Ross Perot, Jr., who had bought the franchise for $125 million, but had no plans of investing in players and admitted he knew little of basketball.
  • 1998
    Nowitzki experienced a rocky start: prior to the 1998–99 NBA season, NBA commissioner David Stern wanted to introduce a salary cap, causing the NBA players' union to declare a strike, the combination putting the entire season in jeopardy.
    More Details Hide Details In limbo, Nowitzki returned to DJK Würzburg and played thirteen games before both sides worked out a late compromise deal that resulted in a shortened schedule of only 50 instead of 82 regular season games. When the season finally started, Nowitzki struggled. Played as a power forward by coach Don Nelson, the 20-year-old felt overpowered by the more athletic NBA forwards, was intimidated by the expectations as a number nine pick, and played bad defense, causing hecklers to taunt him as "Irk Nowitzki", omitting the "D" which stands for "defense" in basketball slang. He only averaged 8.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 20.4 minutes of playing time. Looking back, Nowitzki said: "I was so frustrated I even contemplated going back to Germany.... jump from Second Bundesliga to the NBA was like jumping out of an airplane hoping the parachute would somehow open." The Mavericks only won 19 of their 50 games and missed the playoffs, although Nowitzki completed the season with eight double-digit scoring games out of the last twelve.
    After leading DJK Würzburg to promotion and with his Abitur and military service behind him, Nowitzki looked to the NBA for his future. Projected to be seventh pick in the 1998 NBA draft, he passed up many college offers and went directly into the NBA as a then-still rare prep-to-pro player.
    More Details Hide Details In particular, Rick Pitino and Don Nelson, head coaches of the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks respectively, were highly interested in acquiring him. After a 45-minute private workout with Pitino, where Nowitzki showcased his versatile shooting, rebounding and passing skills, the Boston coach immediately compared him to Celtics legend Larry Bird; Pitino assured Nowitzki that he would draft him with the Celtics' first-round draft pick at #10. However, Pitino's plan was foiled by Nelson, whose team had the sixth pick. Nelson worked out draft day deals with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns: the Mavericks wanted Nowitzki and Suns reserve point guard Steve Nash; the Bucks desired muscular forward Robert Traylor, who was projected to be drafted before Nowitzki; and the Suns had set their sights on forward Pat Garrity, who was projected as a low first round pick. In the draft, the Mavericks drafted Traylor with their sixth pick, and the Bucks selected Nowitzki with their ninth and Garrity with their nineteenth pick. The Mavericks then traded Traylor to the Bucks for Nowitzki and Garrity, and they in return traded the latter to Phoenix for Nash.
    On March 29, 1998, Nowitzki was chosen to play in the Nike Hoop Summit, one of the premier talent watches in U.S. men's basketball.
    More Details Hide Details In a match between the U.S. talents and the international talents, Nowitzki scored 33 points on 6-of-12 shooting, 14 rebounds and 3 steals for the internationals and outplayed future US NBA players Rashard Lewis and Al Harrington. He impressed with a combination of quickness, ball handling, and shooting range, and from that moment a multitude of European and NBA clubs wanted to recruit him.
  • 1996
    Abroad, Nowitzki's progress was noticed. In 1996, FC Barcelona Bàsquet wanted to sign him, but Nowitzki refused to move before finishing his Abitur.
    More Details Hide Details A year later, the teenager participated in the Nike "Hoop Heroes Tour", where he played against NBA stars like Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen. In a 30-minute show match, Nowitzki outplayed Barkley and even dunked on him, causing the latter to exclaim: "The boy is a genius. If he wants to enter the NBA, he can call me."
  • 1995
    In the next 1995–96 Second Bundesliga season, Nowitzki established himself as a starter next to Finnish star forward Martti Kuisma and soon became a regular double-digit scorer: after German national basketball coach Dirk Bauermann saw him score 24 points in a DJK game, he stated that "Dirk Nowitzki is the greatest German basketball talent of the last 10, maybe 15 years."
    More Details Hide Details DJK finished second in the South Division, but could not earn promotion after losing, 86–62, in the deciding match versus BG Ludwigsburg: in that game, Nowitzki scored only eight points. In the 1996–97 Second Bundesliga season, the team's top scorer Kuisma left the team, and Geschwindner replaced Pit Stahl as head coach. Filling the void, Nowitzki averaged 19.4 points per game and led DJK again to second place after the regular season, but could not help his team gain promotion. In the following 1997–98 Second Bundesliga season, Nowitzki finished his "Abitur" (German A-levels), but had to do compulsory military service in the Bundeswehr which lasted from September 1, 1997 to June 30, 1998; Nowitzki described this period as "a tough time at first; we had no privileges and had to participate in all the drills later (after finishing the tough "Grundausbildung", the most intensive initial part of the service) it was much more relaxed." Concerning basketball, the 18-year-old, who had grown to tall, made progress, leading DJK to a 36:4 point total (in Germany, a victory gives 2:0 points and a loss 0:2) and ending as leading scorer with 28.2 points per game. In the promotion playoffs, DJK finally broke its hex, finishing at first place with 14:2 points and earning promotion to the next higher league; Nowitzki scored 26 points in the deciding 95–88 win against Freiburg and was voted "German Basketballer of the Year" by the German BASKET magazine.
  • 1994
    In the 1994–95 Second Bundesliga season, ambitious DJK finished as a disappointing sixth of 12 teams; the rookie Nowitzki was often benched and struggled with bad school grades, which forced him to study rather than work on his game.
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  • 1992
    Nowitzki dated Sybille Gerer, a female basketball player from his local club DJK Würzburg. The relationship started in 1992 and lasted for 10 years before it eventually ended; Nowitzki said, "At the end, we found out we developed in separate ways....
    More Details Hide Details It did not work anymore, but we are still good friends." He added: "I surely want to start a family and have kids, but I cannot imagine it happening before I become 30."
  • 1978
    Born on June 19, 1978.
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