Dirk Nowitzki sets NBA record in season debut

Suns Sneak Peek Suns vs Mavericks

Suns Sneak Peek Suns vs Mavericks

Nowitzki didn't hurt Dallas, hitting one shot.

The 13-time All-Star is the seventh highest scorer in National Basketball Association history with 31,189 career points.

Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki admitted his long-awaited return left him "so tired" as he made National Basketball Association history in his 21st season. Nobody just takes seven months, eight months off and comes out balling.

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Nowitzki has thus far marveled at the play of the 19-year old, proclaiming him to be better than he was at the same age. "I have been running on a treadmill, which is not the same as playing National Basketball Association speed against a bunch of 20-year-old athletes".

Nowitzki's 21st year with the Mavs sets a record as no other National Basketball Association player has played that many seasons with the same team. "I respect the hell out of him for what he has done to get back on the floor".

Nowitzki and Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant had been tied with each playing 20 years for the same franchise before last night's game.

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So I think I have to respect the ones that did it, and I have to respect the ambition of the ones that didn't. But I think the results speak for themselves also.

The only players in league history to play 21 total seasons are Hawks forward Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, Robert Parish, Kevin Willis and Moses Malone (including his two ABA seasons).

For the first time in his career, Nowitzki is expected to come off the bench this season. The 13-time All-Star was on schedule to be ready for the start of this season before suffering a major setback.

The Suns rank 11th in the National Basketball Association with 8.29 steals per game, the team's highest average since 2014-15. He was the NBA Finals MVP in 2011 when he guided the Mavericks to their lone NBA title. After going 24-58 last season, the Mavericks are off to a much better 15-12 start this year.

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