An argument could be made that Dirk Nowitzki never had a shot at this year's All-Star Game because of his injury. But an equally compelling argument could be made that Nowitzki's streak of consecutive All-Star appearances was inevitably going to end, and this year was as good as any for that to happen. Nowitzki is just now coming to terms with it, but the league is getting younger.
According to Jeff Caplan of NBA.com, Nowitzki realizes his streak is ending and the torch is being passed. Starting this season's game for the Western Conference in Nowitzki's place will be Kevin Durant. It's a deserving move. Durant is the present and the future of the NBA. Nowitzki is still trying to hold on.
“It’s obviously a disappointing streak to end, but it is what it is,” Nowitzki told reporters this week. “I had fun representing the Mavs all these years, but it was a tough year for me with injuries. I guess those four days I’m going to enjoy and get a good amount of work in as well and get recharged for the second half of the season.”Nowitzki underwent knee surgery just before the season started. It was his first major injury, and the surgery ultimately kept him out loner than most expected. In the time Nowitzki was gone, the Mavericks struggled to remain relevant. They are still a sub-.500 team, but hope they can have a big second-half of the season.
Nowitzki has averaged 13.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game this season. Both stats represent severe drop-offs from Nowitzki's career numbers. In his career, he has averaged 22.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.