DALLAS -- After a one-year layoff, Dirk Nowitzki is an All-Star again.
Nowitzki was selected as one of the Western Conference’s reserves, meaning that the Mavericks power forward will make the 12th All-Star appearance of his 16-year career after being voted in by the league's coaches.
Nowitzki’s streak of 11 straight All-Star selections was snapped last season, when he missed the first 27 games while recovering from knee surgery and had his lowest scoring average (17.3 points per game) since his second season. He has bounced back this year, ranking 12th in the league in scoring with 21.6 points per game and ninth in Player Efficiency Rating (23.89).
“I have been a part of All-Star Weekend every year since I have been in the league, and not being there last year felt strange,” Nowitzki said in a statement released by the Mavs. “The Dallas fan base has always been great to me and the Mavericks’ organization and the city deserves to be represented at the All-Star Game. I appreciate my teammates for putting me in the best position to succeed and again be named to the Western Conference All-Star team. I am excited to represent the Mavericks in New Orleans and I look forward to returning to my team and making a great run at the playoffs.”
The 35-year-old Nowitzki becomes the 21st player in NBA history to be selected for at least 12 All-Star appearances. The only other active players in that exclusive club are Kobe Bryant (16 selections), Kevin Garnett (15) and Tim Duncan (14).
Mavs owner Mark Cuban sent out his congratulations via Twitter.
Congrats to my guy @swish41. Good guys can and do win. #35 ain't nothing but a number.
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 30, 2014