In honor of Dirk Nowitzki re-signing with the Mavericks, locking him in to play his 21st season in Dallas, it’s time to take a look at a few other NBA greats throughout league history who put in impressive stints with one team– and only one. Here are the five longest tenures among the NBA’s exclusive fraternity of one-club men.
This three-point sniper played 18 seasons, all for the Indiana Pacers. Hall of Famer Reggie Miller averaged 18 points, three rebounds and three assists on 47 percent shooting from the field, 39 percent shooting from deep and 88 percent shooting from the line for his career. He made five All-Star teams over a 10-year span.
He’s an infamous Knick-killer, and is perhaps best known for scoring eight points in nine seconds to defeat New York in the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals. There is no more iconic Pacer.
John Stockton is widely regarded as one of the greatest point guards of all time. He played 19 seasons exclusively for the Utah Jazz, and his 10.5 career assists per game are second only to another one-club man, Magic Johnson.
He and Chris Paul are the only players to rank in both the top ten in career assists and steals per game. Stockton also has the highest single season assists average, with 14.5 in 1990, and was named to a whopping 11 All-NBA teams.
The Big Fundamental played 19 seasons for the Spurs and won five championships. He is regarded as one of the best defensive big men ever, as his career defensive rating of 96 would suggest, and there’s an argument to be made for him being the single best basketball player on this list.
He was a walking double-double, amassing 841 for his career, which ranks fifth all-time. He’s a two-time league MVP and three-time Finals MVP, made 15 All-Star teams, 15 All-NBA teams (10 firsts!), and 15 All-Defensive Teams– all as a member of the Spurs.
The Black Mamba wore the famous Purple and Gold for two whole decades. He won five championships a decade apart, and did the best Michael Jordan impersonation anyone has ever seen since MJ hung ’em up.
Kobe Bean Bryant was a ruthless scorer who ranks third all-time on the career points list. The debate for greatest Laker ever is commonly between himself and Magic, but nobody’s tenure with the team matches the Mamba’s. He holds the NBA record for most consecutive All-Star appearances with 17, and his 11 All-NBA First Team nods exceed even Duncan.
After signing a one year, $5 million contract to return to the Mavericks this week, Dirk Nowitzki will officially pass Bryant on this hallowed list of all-time greats. Truly, the NBA has never seen a player quite like him.
A seven-footer with a brilliant three-point shot and an unblockable fadeaway, he’s shot 38 percent from the arc for his career and is sixth on the all-time scoring list.
When the 2007 league MVP and 2011 Finals MVP suits up for Dallas next year, he will have the most seasons with one team ever.