Dirk Nowitzki Joins the 30,000-Point Club
It’s a feat so rare, only five NBA players had achieved it before March 7, 2017. That’s when Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, who entered the game against the Lakers 20 points shy of the mark, clinched the milestone of scoring 30,000 career points in the second quarter in front of a raucous home crowd.
He joins NBA legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928), Kobe Bryant (33,643), Michael Jordan (32,292), and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) on this exclusive list of those who have scored beyond the 30K mark.
German-born Nowitzki was drafted ninth overall in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and was traded almost immediately to the Dallas Mavericks, where he has done nothing more than become a 13-time All-Star, a league MVP, and the 2010-2011 Finals MVP, when he helped the Mavs bring home their sole national championship. Oh, and he’s also the sixth NBA player ever to notch 30,000 career points, and he’s the first player who was born outside of the United States to do so.
Throughout his stellar career, he’s topped well over 1,000 points on multiple occasions. He even peaked at over 2,000 points in a few seasons. Reliable and steady, though he’s nearing the end of his career, he’ll always be remembered as one of the greats.
Where do the other superstars of the game line up behind Nowitzki, and when will they hope to pass the 30,000-point milestone themselves?
LeBron James is sitting pretty at 28,316 points, and at 27.1 career points per game, can hope to join those six players in a little over half a season (assuming no playoffs, maintaining career average production, and he plays in all games). He’s currently playing in his 14th NBA season.
Russell Westbrook, who is in his ninth season as part of the Oklahoma City Thunder, can hope to pass the mark in a little over eight seasons. He currently has 14,650 points, so he’s almost halfway there.
Steph Curry, who has played for the Golden State Warriors every year for seven-plus seasons, can reach 30,000 points in a little over nine seasons. His current career total is 12,633 points.
Kevin Durant, who currently has 19,060 career points, can reach the milestone in a little over four and a half seasons. He currently plays for Golden State but spent most of the first part of his career in Oklahoma City.
James Harden, sitting at 13,117 career points, can notch 30K in a little over nine more seasons. Harden originally also played for the Thunder but has spent the last five seasons with the Houston Rockets.
Dwyane Wade is at 21,223 career points and can reach 30,000 if he continues at the same pace for a little more than four and a quarter additional seasons. Wade was drafted by the Miami Heat in 2003 and played there up until the 2016-17 season when he move to the Chicago Bulls.
While it remains to be seen how much longer the 38-year-old Nowitzki will play in the NBA, his place in professional basketball history was likely sealed before he hit the 30,000-point milestone. If you’re a Mavs fan and want to show your support of Dirk Nowitzki, head over to Fanatics.com.