Record-setting Nowitzki concedes he's short of fitness

Record-setting Nowitzki concedes he's short of fitness

Dirk Nowitzki admits he needs to get up to speed after making National Basketball Association history against the Phoenix Suns. "Obviously I got a lot of work to do timing-wise, conditioning-wise".

The sources said Nowitzki is finally ready for game action after a longer-than-anticipated recovery from spring surgery on his left ankle. It's going to be a process for me playing against National Basketball Association players, [especially] the speed of the game these days. As of now, the record for most seasons played with only one team is one he shares with Kobe Bryant who suited up for 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was experiencing tendon soreness before the start of training camp in September, which forced him to push his timeline back.

He made his first appearance in the lineup this season with 3:27 left in the opening quarter. It was his only basket in his six minutes of play.

"He's getting closer", coach Rick Carlisle said before the Mavs extended their home winning streak to 11 games with a 114-107 victory.

"Coming back in and re-accumulate mid-stream, with no real live practice time to speak of, but he has been busting his butt big time". It will take me probably a couple of games to get used to it, but we'll see how it goes.

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Doncic is well aware of Nowitzki's iconic status as the primo example of National Basketball Association success for players born outside the US. The 13-time All-Star has been steadily ramping up his activity for several weeks.

Last season Nowitzki played in 77 games for Dallas, averaging 12 points and 5.7 rebound per game.

Nowitzki scored two points in 16 minutes in his National Basketball Association debut on February 5, 1999. James is up to fifth, and Nowitzki needs 233 points to pass Wilt Chamberlain for sixth.

Despite taking significant pay cuts in four out of the last five seasons, Nowitzki is hoping the Mavericks can make the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.

Luka Doncic's 13 points weren't enough.

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