The most significant thing about the Dallas Mavericks' legend Dirk Nowitzki scoring 22 points to move into 6th place on the all-time NBA scoring list is that he hit the game-winning shot. (Dallas beat the Nets 119-118.) These record-setting buckets by Dirk aren't salutary hosannas -- whipped cream on top of a sweet career but empty calories nonetheless. Nowitzki's buckets count as much as ever. Now in his 18th season, the German wunderkind-turned-sage has scored 28,609 points, passing Shaquille O'Neal. While Shaquille O'Neal's old teammate Kobe Bryant -- Dirk's age -- goes on his swan song tour having announced his retirement, Nowitzki remains a big factor on a team that looks to contend.
Where will Nowitzki end up on the list? Probably in 6th -- Wilt Chamberlain is 5th with 31,419, a good 2,800 in front of Nowitzki. It'd take a couple of seasons for Nowitzki to notch those numbers, even at peak production. But Nowitzki's not hanging around to move up on the scoring list -- that's a byproduct of his real goal. What Nowitzki wants is to match Chamberlain in another category. The Big Dipper left the game with two NBA championships. Nowitzki has one. For now.
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