Dirk Nowitzki Accepts End of All-Star Streak
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, 34, a fixture on 11 consecutive West All-Star teams (albeit all but once as a reserve), realizes his streak is coming to an end, just as San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan, 36, saw his run of 13 consecutive All-Star appearances and 12 consecutive starts, end a year ago.
“It’s obviously a disappointing streak to end, but it is what it is,” Nowitzki told reporters this week. “I had fun representing the Mavs all these years, but it was a tough year for me with injuries. I guess those four days I’m going to enjoy and get a good amount of work in as well and get recharged for the second half of the season.”
Nowitzki missed the first 27 games of the season after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Oct. 19. He has not been the same Dirk since, averaging just 14.0 ppg on 41.0 percent shooting. A career 87.7 percent free throw shooter, he’s hitting just 77.6 percent in his 14 games back, including unusual critical misses in several games. The Mavs, struggling at 17-24, are just 5-9 since his highly anticipated return.