NBA: Dirk Nowitzki leaning toward playing again next season
Most NBA players have hung their sneakers by the time they were close to 40 years old, but it looks like Dirk Nowitzki is still willing to continue the grind.
With another shot at an NBA title looking far from grasp for the seemingly lottery-bound Dallas Mavericks, the 7-foot-tall German revealed that he would most likely still play his 21st season in 2018-19.
“I’m not going to say 100 percent I’ll be back–but it’s looking like it,” the 39-year-old Nowitzki told Eddie Seiko of the Dallas Morning News.
“I feel fine so far. I’ve played every game. I’d love to play all 82. That would be amazing at 39. We’ll see how the body feels. But so far, it’s been fine.”
After capturing the franchise’s lone NBA title back in 2011, the Texas-based squad has hit a rough patch in recent seasons and has embraced the “rebuilding” process this year—starting with selecting explosive guard Dennis Smith Jr. in this year’s draft.
“We drafted an unbelievable prospect this summer. I figured we’re going to be a team that’s rebuilding a little bit and trying to get better and trying to get back to winning ways,” the 13-time All-Star said.
With the Mavs currently sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference with an atrocious 8-21 record, Nowitzki remains optimistic and hopes to still be a factor for his team.
“I signed up for, obviously, two years to help the franchise push through that and get better. I didn’t think we would be sitting here 10 (games) over .500. I mean, I wasn’t delusional. We felt like we might have a shot at sneaking into the playoffs. And we still do. We’ve played the toughest schedule in basketball to this point,” he said.
“As long as my body feels fine like it has so far, with no setbacks like last year when I missed two months, I’m looking forward to hopefully fulfilling my contract,” he added.
In his 20th year in the league, Dirk still manages to come up with respectable averages of 11.1 points and 5.6 rebounds while making 41.6 percent of his threes.
He is currently tied with Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant as the longest tenured player to suit up for only one franchise. Khristian Ibarrola /ra
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