Congratulations to Dirk Nowitzki for becoming the Mavericks’ all-time leading scorer. The reigning MVP broke Rolando Blackman’s record with his jumper late in Saturday’s win over New Jersey.
Here’s the video at mavs.com commemorating the achievement and just a few quotes from Dirk and others I’ve collected over the years.
Dirk on breaking the record: “It’s a great honor to be the all-time leading scorer for this franchise. There have been so many great players along the way. Ro Blackman is a friend of mine and he coached the German National team one year, so I’m really, really close to him, so I hate to break that record and take it from him, but it’s definitely a great honor for me.”
Dirk on being able to appreciate this accomplishment now: “It’s a little too early. Hopefully, I’ve got a lot of good basketball, a lot of points left in me for this franchise. All of those records are going to look really nice in 20, 30 years when you look back and you can tell your grandchildren about them.”
Avery Johnson on sharing a hug with Dirk after breaking the record: “That was a pretty strong moment for us. And I know it was for me during my coaching tenure. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Dirk as a player and now as a coach. It’s been a great ride. He allows me to push him. I think I’m probably on him more than anybody. I know sometimes there’s some disappointment about some of his performances, but nobody’s on him probably as hard as I am. He’s allowed me to try to bring the best of him. He’s had a triple-double this year, he’s been MVP. He defends the paint better, he has a better post-up game, he’s a better passer. He’s really just been a joy to work with.”
Mark Cuban: “You don’t have to encourage him to get into the gym, he’s the guy you have to lock out. He’s not the guy who you wonder if he cares, he’s the guy who hurts so much when things don’t go the way you want. That’s what makes him an MVP.”
Jason Kidd: “He’s the best. He’s the MVP. He’s the best big man I’ve played with. He’d be one of the best small guys I’ve played with, too.”
Former record-holder Rolando Blackman: “We all know him as a fantastic person and a great guy, and it’s been a privilege to see his rise to get to this point. He’ll blow this whole thing away and be the first Maverick to 20,000.”
Two-time MVP and former teammate Steve Nash: “He’s the unquestioned leader [of the Mavs] in many ways, and he’s extremely committed and focused. To be the best player and be that committed and focused and a leader and win that many games, he’s the MVP.”
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich: “If you want to look for holes in a game, Dirk is not the guy to look to. He is about as perfect as you can get.”
Former TNT analyst and Suns executive Steve Kerr: “I just like the way that he’s now a complete player, just does whatever is necessary, plays any style, adapts to what the defense is doing, and I think he’s just an amazing player who’s taken the next step.”
Heat coach Pat Riley: “He is so unique. First of all, he can handle the ball, he can shoot the ball, he drives it. He is a very, very tough guy to guard.’’
Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst Bill Walton: “Dirk is representative of the dream of David Stern. Fourteen years ago, it was incomprehensible that any player outside of the United States would be able to crack the top 15 in the world. I would say Dirk is top 10 of all the players in the world right now.”
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant: “He’s a phenomenal player.’’