Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki passed Hall of Fame forward Elvin Hayes on Friday night during his side’s 102-98 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, then had a brief chat with the only active player with more points then him.
“I told him that I was going to catch him,” Nowitzki said, post-game with Kobe Bryant, the third all-time leading scorer resting and watching from the bench. “But that’s going to be tough.”
Nowitzki now moves into eighth position in the scoring list after a midrange jumper off a feed from Monta Ellis on the opening possession of the second half.
Nowitzki, who needed just six points to pass Hayes finished the game with 14 points in 24 minutes, giving him 27,322 points in his career.
“I’m fortunate to have great teammates to put me in position to keep scoring, even as I’m older,” said Nowitzki. “It’s been fun. Still competing at a high level and hopefully will win a lot more games these last couple of years, which really means more to me right now than all the points. But it’s definitely been a fun ride.”
While Nowitzki is keen to pass Bryant, who currently has 32,365 total points, at 36-years-old, it looks to be unlikely. However, the 17-year veteran, who has spent his entire career with the Mavs is likely to pass Moses Malone (27,409 career points) to move into seventh on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Nowitzki is currently averaging 18.5 points per game this season.