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Video: Charlotte crowd gives Mavs’ Dirk Nowitzki warm welcome as he checks in

Dirk Nowitzki, Mavs

Dirk Nowitzki has spent all 21 of his years in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks. Despite that, it’s not just Mavs fans that appreciate what the German has done for the League.

As he checked into his final All-Star game, the fans showed just how much they love him.

Dirk Nowitzki is a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer. He has won an MVP in his career, as well as a Championship and a Finals MVP along the way. He’s in his 14th All-Star game and the fans clearly know this is the last time they’ll get to cheer for him.

Nowitzki was quick to give fans some appreciation back. He was all smiles as the fans cheered him on, and went 3-for-3 from deep in his first four minutes of play.

This final season hasn’t exactly gone as planned for Nowitzki. In his career, the 7-footer has career averages of 20.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. This campaign though, he’s averaging just 4.7 and 1.7 in each category respectively.

That’s due to a few factors. First of all, the 40-year-old is coming off an injury. He’s also playing only 11 minutes per game over 26 contests. Meanwhile, the Mavs are in position to miss the playoffs with a 26-31 record — sitting five games out of the eighth and final place.

In the moment though, it’s hard not to smile. Nowitzki is one of the greatest we’ll ever see in the game. He has one more chance to show everyone that on Sunday, and the fans were ready to cheer him on and show him the love he deserves.

This might not be the final season Nowitzki imagined. But when looking back on his career , that’s not what people will remember. They’ll remember the NBA title run, the one-legged fadeaway, the clutch shooting and the joy he brought fans. They’ll remember this night as they were able to give him the ovation he deserved one last time.