I suppose it shouldn't be that surprising. Shooting is historically a skill that ages well, playing meaningful minutes in the NBA has become increasingly dependent on it, and - despite being a big man - Dirk Nowitzki's role as the preeminent stretch four before stretch fours were cool has surely made basketball less taxing than it would be on most men of his size.
That said, is still seems ridiculous that a seven foot German with the most unorthodox of games and a strut so awkward that it sometimes look like walking requires his full attention has undeniably become one of the most transcendent talents in NBA history. He's not just a European success story, but thee European success story by which all foreign prospects - across multiple generations - have been unfairly measured. He created the blueprint for rangy white guys who might be a little less athletic than their professional peers and almost every one has failed miserably in matching up. We aren't just talking about a man that turned an off-balance jumper with a hand in his face into one of the most reliable plays in the sport, but a man that has done so for upwards of two decades.
I know he's lost more than a couple of steps, but - if you put the scene above in standard definition on a fat back television and blurred out the other 9 faces and numbers - I wouldn't have been able to tell you whether that highlight was from last night or 2002. Most athletes become cringeworthy shells of themselves in the twilight of their career, but Dirk Nowitzki has stayed casually dropping unblockable, mid-range fadeaways with a smoothness that makes his running form envious well into his late 30's. He's earned everyone of those 30,000 points (most of which were in strikingly similar fashion), the respect and adoration of all his peers, and his own spot atop the list of players that make you wonder "how the hell is this guy so damn good?".
P.S. Throughout the entire history of sports there might not be a specialization mentor that's more accomplished than Dirk's shooting coach. Have a day Holger, have a day....