After a one-year hiatus from the NBA All-Star game in 2013, Dirk Nowitzki is returning for a 12th time in 13 years.
The Mavericks leading scorer this season at 21.6, Nowitzki is coming off a 38-point, 17-rebound performance in a 117-115 loss to Houston on Jan. 29.
Nowitzki becomes the 21st player in NBA history to be named to at least 12 NBA All-Star games.
Even at 35-years-old, Nowitzki has shown signs of his vintage self, posting five 30-point games this year, including one 40-point game.
The big German is also averaging 6.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists (highest since 2007-08), and shooting 48 percent from the field, and 39 percent from downtown. His 90.8 percent from the free-throw line is his highest since 2009-10.
Nowitzki’s streak of 11 straight All-Star appearances was snapped last season after he missed the first 27 games of the year due to knee surgery.
Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Durant were named West starters, while LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Tony Parker, and James Harden joins Nowitzki on the bench. Paul or Harden will likely start in place of the injured Bryant, while the coaches will vote for one final player to replace Kobe. The face of New Orleans, Anthony Davis is the likely choice. Goran Dragic also has a slim chance of being chosen.
Despite the acquisition of Monta Ellis in the summer, Nowitzki is the team’s leading scorer once again. Ellis was leading the Mavs for most part of the season, but Dirk continues to shoot the ball well even at his age.
Nowitzki will likely keep this up as he helps the Mavs make a push into the playoffs. Dallas is currently 26-21, eighth in the West, and just 2.5 games back of sixth-place Phoenix, but holds just a half game on surging Memphis, who has won four in a row and nine of 10.
The 2014 NBA All-Star game will be played in New Orleans on Feb. 16.
Dallas has seven games remaining before the break, beginning with a home match with the Kings on Jan. 31. The Mavs will have two home games with a road game in between before finishing the first half with three away from big D against Boston, Charlotte, and Indiana.