Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki were supposed to play one final time on Tuesday. However, Bryant missed what would have been the duo's 50th meeting, as he sat with a sore right shoulder.

When Nowitzki made a game-winning shot with two seconds left, Bryant was right there to pay his respects with a double-tap on the butt.

Real recognize real. Even if Dirk does drain this shot right in front of Kobe.

Both Bryant and Nowitzki are 37 years old and have spent their entire careers with the Lakers and Mavericks, respectively. Nowitzki was drafted in 1998, and the two legends have been going toe-to-toe for 18 seasons.

Combined, they have six NBA titles, nine Western Conference titles, 31 All-Star Game selections, two MVP awards and three NBA Finals MVP awards.

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