2017 Yearender: The sports desk's picks - 18 of our favourite moments

30,000 & still going strong

Dirk Nowitzki hitting a trademark fadeaway jumper in March for his 30,000th National Basketball Association point is hard to beat.

The Dallas Mavericks veteran's shot was no different from the thousands he has been making for the 20 years I have followed him, which was precisely the point.

I am old enough now that watching elite sport has become a constant reminder of how I am no longer growing up, but older.

The childhood sporting hero is perhaps the truest form of athlete worship. He or she comes at a time when it is possible for the 14-year-old to look at the athlete and say, "I want to be like that". This becomes less and less possible the older you and the athlete get.

The 2.13m Nowitzki is 39, not an age people often look forward to reaching for any reason. But maybe it would not be so bad if I could have an immortal jump shot like his, if I could "be like that".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2017, with the headline '30,000 & still going strong'. Print Edition | Subscribe