Dirk reaches milestone, then shaves beard
Dirk Nowitzki got to 25K points as fast as he could in Sunday's 107-89 win at New Orleans. And then The Greatest Mav got to a razor as fast as he could, marking a celebration of the .500 mark, and more. 'I might get a kiss tonight,' said a freshly-shorn Dirk. 'My wife stopped kissing me sometime in February.'
As a team, the proud Dallas Mavericks' initial goal for the 2012-13 was not to spend the final four-and-a-half months of the season chasing the modest goal of being a .500 team.
As a player, the modest Dirk Nowitzki's primary goal was not to have this season highlighted by shaving whiskers or by joining the NBA's 25,000-Points Club.
But both will remain in the memory banks for the Mavs as for the first time since Dec. 12 (when they were 11-11) they reached the .500 mark at 40-40.
"I'm not sure,'' said The UberMan when asked which accomplishment -- the record or the razor -- he's more pleased with. "It's a tie.''
It was in early February when Mavs players vowed to grow their facial hair until they reached the .500 level. Connected with the bonding ploy, of course, was the hope to also remain a playoff team, as the Mavs had been for 12 straight previous seasons.
The goals accomplished Sunday are, respectively, "fun'' and "individual.'' Nowitzki, though, saluted his teammates moments after his 17-foot face-up jumper went in with 6:44 remaining in the first half.
Typically, he largely steered the talk away from himself. He said, "I think I worked hard for 15 years in this league and it paid off.'' But he later added, "I would've loved to do it at home in front of our fans that supported me for the last 15 years.''
Nowitzki is just one of 17 players in NBA history with 25,000 points. More impressively, he's one of just nine men with both 25,000 points and 9,000 rebounds. The others: Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Chamberlain, Shaq O'Neal, Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, Olajuwon and Kevin Garnett.
At the half, NBA officials replaced the gameball and saved the record-setting ball for the trophy case of Nowitzki, who finished with 19 points (on 7-of-14 shooting) and six rebounds.
Nowitzki had help in this game (Shawn Marion had 21 points and seven rebounds and Vince Carter and Brandan Wright each scored 16). But he did the shaving (complete with his own razor) immediately after the game. Some of the other guys will wait to get back to Dallas to visit O.J. Mayo's pal "Omar The Barber.''
But as has so often been the case on the way top 25,000 and to 9,000, Dirk Nowitzki does things Dirk's way.