On Tuesday night, the NBA said goodbye to one of its legends.
After 21 seasons, Dirk Nowitzki officially announced his retirement after pouring in 30 points in the Dallas Mavericks' win over the Phoenix Suns.
Nowitzki, a 14-time All-Star and the 2007 NBA MVP, was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the No. 9 pick in the 1998 NBA Draft but was sent to the Mavs in a multi-team trade that saw Dallas also land Steve Nash.
During his illustrious NBA career, Nowitzki took the Mavericks to 15 playoff appearances, including the franchise's first NBA Finals appearance in 2006 and its first title in 2011. He scored 31,540 career points, good for sixth all time and is widely regarded as one of the best power forwards to ever play the game.
Did we mention Dirk's legendary career got off the ground at Oracle Arena?
Nowitzki made his NBA debut on Feb. 5, 1999, against the Seattle Supersonics, scoring two points while going 0-for-5 from the floor.
His next game, at Oracle, was a different story.
Nowitzki's first NBA field goal was a baseline jumper over Warriors forward Jason Caffey that came off a pass from Mavs center Shawn Bradley. The young German prospect would go 6-for-10 from the field in his Oracle debut, tallying 16 points and 12 rebounds in 102-99 Mavericks win.
For 21 seasons, Nowitzki's patented one-legged fadeaway has been a staple of the NBA. He's endured heartbreaking losses (shoutout to the "We Believe Warriors" and Wade's 2006 Miami Heat), but it made his greatest triumph all the sweeter. During the 2011 NBA Finals, Nowitzki, surrounded by a team of talented role players that included J.J. Barea, Jason Terry, Shawn Marrion and an aging Peja Stojaković, went toe-to-toe with LeBron James, Wade and Chris Bosh's first "Heatles" team. Dirk vanquished them, averaging 26 points and 9.7 rebounds while earning NBA Finals MVP honors.
In the era of the "Superteam," Dirk will likely be the last star to truly win a title without the help of other NBA legends.
It's fitting that in the same year the NBA says goodbye to Dirk, it also says goodbye to his biggest rival (Dwyane Wade) and the building that launched his Hall of Fame career.
Enjoy retirement, legend.