PHOENIX — Dirk Nowitzki was active for Dallas’ game against Phoenix on Thursday night, prepared to belatedly begin his record-setting 21st season with the Mavericks.
No other NBA player has played that many seasons with the same team.
The 40-year-old had been tied at 20 seasons with Kobe Bryant, who retired from the Los Angeles Lakers after the 2015-16 season.
Nowitzki had surgery to remove bone spurs from his left ankle last April, and the timing was to make sure he would be ready at the start of his record-setting season. But the 7-foot German had a setback before training camp, with tendon soreness forcing him to continue rehabbing the injury and missing the first 26 games.