Dirk Nowitzki Reportedly Invited to 2019 NBA 3-Point Contest

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2019

DALLAS, TEXAS - JANUARY 16: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after being called for a foul against the San Antonio Spurs in the second half at American Airlines Center on January 16, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The NBA has extended an invitation for the 2019 Three-Point Contest to Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, the New York Times' Marc Stein reported.

Nowitzki was the three-point champion during All-Star Weekend in 2006, defeating Ray Allen and Gilbert Arenas in the final round.

Nowitzki has appeared in 16 games this year and is shooting just 26.1 percent from beyond the arc. He had ankle surgery last April, which not only kept him out for Dallas' first 26 games but is also clearly impacting his performance.

Nowitzki was a 40.9 percent three-point shooter in 2017-18 before his ankle injury forced him out of action.

His invitation is almost certainly a way for the league to honor the 40-year-old before he retires. Nowitzki is 11th all-time in made threes (1,930) and will be remembered as the best shooting big man in NBA history.

Given both his age and desire to avoid a yearlong farewell tour, the 2018-19 season could be Nowitzki's last in the NBA. Should that be the case, All-Star Weekend would provide fans with one more chance to enjoy Nowitzki on a big stage.

Since Nowitzki can still receive consideration for the Three-Point Contest into his 21st season, maybe the door isn't completely closed on LeBron James finally getting into the Slam Dunk Contest.

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