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Mavs sign Nowitzki for record 21st season

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The Dallas Mavericks have re-signed Dirk Nowitzki, which will make the German star the first player in NBA history to play 21 straight seasons with the same team.

Nowitzki is now set to begin his 21st season with Dallas which will be an NBA record for a player with the same franchise. The previous record of 20 was held by Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers.

No details were released about the deal which was announced on the team’s website on Monday.

The Wurzburg, Germany, native was the ninth overall pick in the 1998 entry draft and was acquired by the Mavericks via a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The 13-time all-star Nowitzki is the most decorated Maverick in franchise history. He was named Most Valuable Player of the 2006-07 season and MVP of the 2011 NBA finals.

Nowitzki, who turned 40 last month, is the league’s only international player with more than 30,000 career points.

PARKER SIGNS 2-YEAR

DEAL WITH HORNETS

Meantime, four-time NBA champion Tony Parker officially became a member of the Charlotte Hornets on Monday, joining the Eastern Conference team after 17 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs.

Terms of the deal were not released but the US media reported that the French point guard agreed to a two-year deal worth $10 million.

“We are thrilled to add a player of Tony’s caliber and experience to our roster,” said GM Mitch Kupchak.

“We believe his track record of success and playoff resume will add backcourt depth to our roster and veteran leadership to our group. We are excited to welcome Tony to Charlotte and for him to continue his Hall-of-Fame career with the Hornets.”

The move allows the 36-year-old Parker to rejoin coach James Borrego who was an assistant coach with the Spurs for much of Parker’s career.

Since being selected with the 28th overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft by the Spurs, Parker had been a standout and leader for San Antonio, helping spark the Spurs to NBA crowns in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014. The six-time NBA all-star was named NBA finals Most Valuable Player in 2007.

Joining Charlotte will also unite Parker with a friend and countryman in swingman Nicolas Batum.

Parker, who helped France win the 2013 EuroBasket title, played a career-low 19.5 minutes a game last season for the Spurs with a career-low 21 starts and career-low 55 appearances as the Spurs began developing young point guard Dejounte Murray.

The Hornets were seeking an experienced ball-handling guard and made salary room by trading journeyman centre Dwight Howard to Brooklyn.

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