Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant sat on opposite benches for the last time Tuesday night, as Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks beat Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers, 92-90. Even though Bryant did not play in the pair’s final game against one another, there was still a moment for the ages.
Nowitzki hit one of his patented fade-away jumpers as a double team approached with 2.1 seconds left to lift his team to the two-point win.
Dirk hits the game-winner, gets respect from Kobe https://t.co/KGgP6i4tdz
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 27, 2016
Of course Dirk’s eventual game-winning jumper just so happen to take place in front of Bryant, who can be seen acknowledging the big time shot hit by his aging counterpart. Here is another angle of the post shot embrace.
— NBA.com (@NBAcom) January 27, 2016
For a game in which Kobe did not play, getting a moment like this is all anyone could have asked for. The respect is definitely mutual: Nowitzki is on the record saying Kobe is the “Michael Jordan of my generation.”
Both Nowitzki and Bryant are best known by their only first names, again showing how much of an impact both have had on the sport.
You will see a lot more players whose moves remind you of Dirk…but you will hear a lot more players say they were inspired by Kobe
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) January 27, 2016
With Kobe set to retire after this season, it appears Dirk still has enough gas in the tank to be an effective NBA player potentially into his forties.