Dallas Mavericks

This Date in NBA History (Nov. 12): Dirk Nowitzki becomes the highest foreign-born scorer in NBA history

On Nov. 12, 2014, Dirk Nowitzki passed Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon on the NBA's all-time scoring list to become the highest-scoring foreign-born player in league history.

With a midrange jumper early in the fourth quarter of a game against the Sacramento Kings, the German passed Olajuwon's tally of 26,946 points for what was ninth (at that time) on the league's all-time scoring list.

Nowitzki finished his career ranked sixth all-time in scoring with 31,560 points. In addition to Olajuwon, Nowitzki passed Hall of Famers like Elvin Hayes, Moses Malones, Shaquille O'Neal and Wilt Chamberlain.

"To pass The Dream is unbelievable," Nowitzki said after the game, which the Mavericks won, 106-98. "His footwork, his skill level, his hands, his touch was second to none. So, I'm pretty proud."

Drafted in 1998, Nowitzki played 21 seasons in the NBA - the most by a player for a single franchise. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest power forwards and the greatest Europeans of all-time.

In 21 seasons, he led the Mavericks to 15 playoff appearances. Being the team's only league MVP (2007) and Finals MVP (2011), he led the franchise to their first NBA Finals appearance in 2006 and their first NBA championship in 2011.

In the final home game of his career, Nowitzki dropped a season-high 30 points in a 120-109 win over the Phoenix Suns. A few months later, the city of Dallas paid tribute to Nowitzki, honouring him by naming a street after him - "Nowitzki Way."

Other notable events on Nov. 12

  • In 1980, Billy Knight scored a franchise-record 52 points against the Spurs in a 119-113 win for the Indiana Pacers. A decade later, Reggie Miller broke this record when he scored 57 in a 134-122 win over Charlotte.
  • In 1993, the New Jersey Nets retired No. 3 jersey worn by the late Drazen Petrovic. The shooting guard passed away in an auto accident in Germany on June 7,1993.
  • In 2006, Michael Redd erupted for a career-high and franchise-high 57 points against the Utah Jazz. The points tally surpassed the previous Bucks single-game franchise record of 55 points, held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Despite Redd's big night, the Jazz took the 113-111 victory.
  • In 2019, the Spurs retired Tony Parker's No. 9 jersey - the 10th in franchise history.

Recent game-winning buzzer-beater on Nov. 12

Nikola Vucevic vs. Los Angeles Lakers in 2015

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