Doc Rivers’ classy move made sure Dirk Nowitzki got a proper sendoff

Doc Rivers Luka Doncic Mavs Clippers

Doc Rivers Luka Doncic Mavs Clippers

With his Clippers up 121-112 and under 10 seconds remaining, Rivers had his team call timeout. But it's still a little odd to see Nowitzki receive all these honors - like his "special addition" to last week's NBA All-Star Game - when he's refused to say whether he'll actually call it quits at the end of the season.

Rivers grabbed the PA announcer's microphone at the Staples Center and called out Nowitzki's name followed by several repetitions of "let's go!" until the crowd burst into a standing ovation for the 40-year-old Nowitzki.

"One of greatest of all time, Dirk Nowitzki", Rivers said while pointing at the Mavericks star, who is set to retire at the end of this season.

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In the second half, when the Seminoles cut the lead to 56-52 with 10:36 left in the game, the Tar Heels answered. North Carolina outscored Florida State 28-12 in the paint three nights after outscoring Duke 62-28 there.

With his 1,500th game, Nowitzki, 41, moved into fourth place on the all-time list, trailing Robert Parish (1,611), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,560) and John Stockton (1,504).

"It was sweet. I'm really appreciative", Nowitzki said after the game. "At first, I was like, "Why is Doc calling a timeout?" What's he doing with [9.4] seconds left? "It was really, really humbling". "That was an emotional moment". He's posting career lows by far in minutes, points and every other meaningful category, and has started just two games after starting every game he appeared in for the past five seasons.

Mavs owner and billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban also expressed his gratitude for Rivers' gesture.

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