"Dirk is everything to the Mavs," owner Mark Cuban said in a statement. "First, 41.21.1. And now, lifting his jersey to the rafters. It is a special day for the Mavs and Mavs fans around the world."
Nowitzki spent 21 seasons with the Mavericks, becoming the first player in league history to spend 21 seasons with the same franchise. He is the team's all-time leader in points (31,560), rebounds (11,489), defensive rebounds (10,021), field goals made (11,169), 3-pointers made (1,982), free throws made (7,240), blocks (1,281), games played (1,522), starts (1,460) and minutes (51,368). His total of 31,560 career points is the sixth-most ever, behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.
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The future Hall-of-Famer also helped lead the Mavericks to their first NBA title in 2011 when they defeated LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat in six games in the NBA Finals. Nowitzki was named Finals MVP for his performance in the series. He currently serves as a special advisor to the Mavericks.
Nowitzki will become the fifth player to have his number retired by the Mavericks, joining Derrick Harper (No. 12), Brad Davis (No. 15) and Rolando Blackman (No. 22). The organization also retired Kobe Bryant's No. 24 following his tragic death in a helicopter accident last year.