Dirk Nowitzki Announces He Will Retire After 2018-19 Season

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On the road for the final game of his National Basketball Association career, Dirk had difficulty containing his emotions as the San Antonio Spurs - one of his fiercest rivals during his 21-year National Basketball Association career - ran a touching highlight tribute video to the German power forward before the game tipped-off.

Dirk Nowitzki was mum all season on his future plans but after a rousing performance in the Dallas Mavericks' home finale Tuesday, the star finally announced the decision everyone expected.

Spurs fans showed plenty of love to the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer, and he said it "felt nearly like a home game". "I put you guys on a helluva ride with a lot of ups and downs, and you guys always stuck with me and supported me, so I appreciate it".

Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks became emotional during video of his highlights before the game against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center on April 10, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas.

He also had one last opportunity to show off his trademark step-back jumper in the game's final seconds.

He will go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game and one of the most entertaining players to ever watch.

For his part, Wade made an impressive triple-double (25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists) in the defeat of the Miami Heat to the Brooklyn Nets on the road (113-94).

The German power forward played all 21 seasons with the Mavericks.

The smooth-shooting 7-footer changed the game when the Mavericks traded for the 20-year-old, taken ninth overall in the 1998 draft.

Nowitzki went on to thank owner Mark Cuban and the entire Mavericks staff, not only for this season but for the last 21 years. 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. He made many unpublicized trips to the hospital over the years.