Dirk Nowitzki passes Hakeem Olajuwon on NBA scoring list
Dirk Nowitzki has passed Hakeem Olajuwon on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
Nowitzki entered Tuesday night's game against the Sacramento Kings in Dallas needing 17 points to supplant the Rockets legend in ninth place, with 26,946 points. In doing so, he became the highest-scoring international player in league history.
Nowitzki now needs less than 400 points to catch Elvin Hayes in eighth place. There's a good chance the Mavericks star will also surpass Moses Malone in seventh place (27,409 points) this season.
Nowitzki broke the record on a 19-foot jump shot over Carl Landry with around nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. After the shot, Mavericks fans at American Airlines Center gave him a standing ovation.
Nowitzki, a native of Wurzburg, Germany, is in his 17th season with the Mavericks, who him with the No. 9 overall pick in the 1998 draft. The seven-footer has earned 12 All-Star nods, four All-NBA First Team selections, one MVP award and one Finals MVP award.
In what was considered one of the best bargains in free agency this summer, the 36-year-old signed a three-year, $25 million contract to remain in Dallas. Entering Tuesday, Nowitzki was averaging 20.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists this season.