Daily doses of history come with the territory for Dirk Nowitzki.
On Monday, a particularly special dance with a momentous event will, in all probability, take place for Nowitzki and anybody lucky enough to be at American Airlines Center.
Nowitzki has scored 31,416 points in his 21-year NBA career. Wilt Chamberlain, considered by many to be the best big man and maybe the best player period of all time, scored 31,419 points in his 14 seasons.
People still talk about the night when Nowitzki surpassed 30,000 points with that first-half explosion of points against the Los Angeles Lakers. They will never forget other moments in the career of the greatest Maverick ever – the finger roll while getting fouled by Manu Ginobili, the championship-hoisting celebration, the 53-point night against Tracy McGrady and the Houston Rockets.
Monday night, most likely, will be another had-to-be-there event.
Perhaps old-timers will have this sentiment more than the Twitter generation. But the fact is that if you pass Wilt Chamberlain at anything, you have had a major accomplishment.
The question, of course, is when Nowitzki will get the milestone. Will he start? Will he come in with Devin Harris as a bench player, which would allow Harris the opportunity to get the assist for the Wilt-passing bucket?
Remember, it was Harris who assisted when Nowitzki knocked down the jumper that pushed him past 30,000 points.
“That has to happen again, right?” Harris said with a wide grin after Saturday’s win over Cleveland.
If Luka Doncic is back in the starting lineup we don’t know if Nowitzki will remain there. Especially with New Orleans and Anthony Davis (presumably) and Julius Randle waiting for him in the Pelicans’ starting lineup.
The best part of the night is that it will happen at AAC. And it will happen on a telecast by Fox Sports Southwest, which is good for fans who cannot be at the arena.
Occasions like this are good for the NBA, good for the Mavericks, good for fans and good for just about everybody other than those who are trying to buy tickets to the game on the resale market.
Prices, no doubt, are spiking.
But that’s something that, like nightly brushes with history, comes with the territory when Nowitzki is involved.