The Boston crowd bids Dirk Nowitzki adieu.
For a ballplayer who'd just gone 0-10 from the field in a losing cause, Dirk Nowitzki was certainly a happy camper. Dirk has been seldom used by Dallas coach Rick Carlisle in what is likely his farewell season in the NBA. Last night's 114-93 loss to the Celtics was Dirk's 18th visit to Boston's TD Garden over the course of his career. Regrettably, it might also be his last, unless Dallas and Boston somehow meet in the NBA Finals this postseason.
With a TD Garden all-time record on the line, the Boston Celtics' home crowd was actually rooting for Dirk. The objective was to unseat Kobe Bryant as the highest scoring Western Conference opponent TD Garden's history. Unfortunately, Dirk fell short, even though his teammates offered him ample touches of the ball; it just wasn't meant to be. "Yeah, I mean super sweet, super emotional," Nowitzki said in regards to his TD reception.
"It's sweet when not only your home fans, but the fans on the road, that appreciate what you've done in the last two decades. I appreciate the fans of Boston and, unfortunately, really disappointed I couldn't even make one," he continued. "Just real disappointing, but definitely will never forget the reception and, obviously, at the end how they wanted me to break the record. I really appreciate it."
This moment in NBA history is worthy of preservation. Boston's TD Garden is a hostile place for opposing teams. It's also a pretty hard place to steal a W on the road. Once you win a native-Bostonian over, the rest of life's complications seem easy in comparison. As you'll see below, the home crowd invested in multiple outcomes: Dirk's toppling Kobe's record, and routine victory by the Celts. If you needed any further evidence of Dirk's universal recognition, you are likely one tough nut to crack.