Video: Mavs’ Dirk Nowitzki presented with first gift of his ‘retirement tour’
Dallas Mavericks icon Dirk Nowitzki was presented with the first of many gifts during his farewell tour when he was given a commemorative electric guitar by former NBA player and teammate Wang Zhizhi during Friday’s game between the Mavs and the Philadelphia 76ers in Shanghai.
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) October 5, 2018
While Nowitzki hasn’t yet committed to saying this would be his last year in the league, there is a strong sense that this might be it for the 7-footer, given his already declared relegation to the bench and the drafting of Luka Doncic — setting up the ultimate passing of the torch from one European great to another.
Nowitzki is yet to see the floor after undergoing a season-ending ankle surgery to clean up loose debris and could possibly be weeks away from returning and getting back into playing shape.
This gesture from Zhizhi, who played 60 games alongside Nowitzki from 2000-02, serves as the first of likely many the German international is bound to receive as he enters his NBA-record 21st season with the Mavs, surpassing Kobe Bryant’s record of 20.
The future Hall of Famer is currently sixth on the all-time list of NBA scorers, but is likely to be surpassed by a high-octane LeBron James, who is closely trailing 149 points behind.
Nowitzki’s resume speaks for itself and will warrant presents from most NBA franchises as one of the most endearing figures of the game throughout the last two decades.