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As Dirk Nowitzki played his final game for the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center, the spotlight was rightfully so, on the German.

The 40-year-old sharpshooter made the announcement at the end of the Dallas Mavericks' regular-season finale against the Phoenix Suns.

The ninth pick in the 1998 National Basketball Association draft, Nowitzki spent 21 seasons with the Mavericks, leading the team to 15 playoff appearances and its first and only championship win in 2011.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 34 points and 16 rebounds and the Spurs beat the Dallas Mavericks 105-94 Wednesday night in Nowitzki's final game.

Nowitzki, sitting at 31,540 points with one game left, gave the home crowd another thrill last month by passing Wilt Chamberlain to regain sixth on the career scoring list.

Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade competed for the final time in their legendary career on Wednesday night (10/04).

Their impact on the game will be felt for generations to come.

After the game, as Nowitzki walked to the locker room, CBS 11 Sports reporter Keith Russell shot video and tweeted, "So long ... better yet see ya later to the greatest player in @dallasmavs history". Nowitzki eclipsed 10,000 defensive rebounds late this season - and fans who went wild almost every time he hit a shot even cheered those moments.

"The person he is everybody knows and I don't know if this franchise is ready for post-Dirk", injured Mavericks guard J.J. Barea said in the locker room before the game.

Nowitzki has played in 49 games and missed significant time while recovering from an ankle injury, which he had surgery on in 2018. Bryant retired from the Lakers three years ago. He made many unpublicized trips to the hospital over the years.

That's a tremendous way to pay your respects to a man that your team has been going up against for the past 21 seasons. After the videos, the Mavericks surprised Dirk with appearances and speeches from some of Dirk's all-time favorite players.