NBA Tweets from Last Night: Twitter Reacts to Dirk Nowitzki's Surprise Debut

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NBA Tweets from Last Night: Twitter Reacts to Dirk Nowitzki's Surprise Debut
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks got pummeled Sunday night by the ageless San Antonio Spurs, but the game wasn't a complete loss.


Enter Dirk Nowitzki.

No seriously, enter Nowitzki.

After missing the first 27 games of the season as he recovered from knee surgery, Nowitzki unexpectedly returned to Dallas' rotation—just in time to watch the Mavericks get mauled by an insanely efficient Spurs team.

And yet, it's tough not to remain slightly optimistic in Big D. Sure, the team lost by 38 points and Nowitzki scored just eight, but, well, Dirk's back. Even in a full-fledged romping at Dallas' expense, that's cause for excitement mixed with confusion.

Just ask Earl K. Sneed of, who was nothing short of bewildered when Nowitzki began warming up with the team:

Even Fox Sports Southwest's Dallas stats guy couldn't help but provide some statistically-void sentiments as he watched Dirk go through the pregame motions:

Once Sneed confirmed that Nowitzki would indeed return, a universal sense of relief undoubtedly spread throughout the state of Texas—for those who aren't Houston Rockets or Spurs fans, of course:

Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm (with the help of a Mavericks fan) also offered some sound insight as to what was about to go down:

Dallas owner Mark Cuban joined the party as well, clearly overcome with unbridled glee:

Let's not pretend like his return was only a surprise for some either. As Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram pointed out, no one knew he was planning a comeback. Absolutely no one:

Given the hype and mysteriousness surrounding his return, it comes as no surprise that his first trip to the scorer's table was a surreal experience for not just the Mavericks, but the entire NBA:

Wow. He's back.

Yes, we had known he was going to play prior to tip-off, but watching him set foot on the hardwood for the first time made it more official than any announcement could—Dirk was back:

I mean, you know something's a big deal when the league itself is smitten by the events that transpired:

As if his sheer presence wasn't enough, though, Mavericks fans were treated to a sequence they had been waiting 27 games to witness:

They were then treated to an even more highly anticipated sequence:

Nowitzki's first bucket of the season.

And then, like clockwork, Dirk began to go to work:

No Nowitzki performance would have been complete, however, without a patented Dirk fadeaway:

That said, Nowitzki's return was marked by more out-of-character realities than anything. Like attempting only four shots in 20 minutes of burn:

Though Nowitzki failed to score in excess, one would have hoped that his presence alone, that his return alone would be enough to inspire and subsequently carry his team to victory.

But it wasn't. Instead, the Spurs rip-rolled their way to a 38-point victory, their largest margin of victory over the Mavericks in 20-plus years:

Still, Dirk was back and this meant everything to Dallas' immediate future. Even if Nowitzki himself downplayed his debut:

What cannot be downplayed, however, is the collective relief that washed over the Mavericks knowing that Dirk's knee felt fine:

What wasn't as comforting was Nowitzki's portrayal of his team's execution:

But again, that was something for Dirk and company to worry about later. This was all about his return, the next step in the healing and collective resurrection process.

Of course the Mavericks have a long way to go, but now, this wasn't a complete loss. Somehow, out of the depths of a historical beat down spawned hope.

Courtesy of one Dirk Nowitzki.

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