Future Hall of Famer, Dirk Nowitzki, announced Thursday in an interview that he would definitely return for the 2017-18 NBA season and possibly more after that.
“Looking forward to doing the same program this summer and with a few tweaks here or there — sit together with the trainers — and I’ll be ready for camp,” Nowitzki said. Via (Fox Sports Nunzio Ingrassia)
Dirk says there’s a good chance he’d come back for a 21st season if he feels this good at the end of the next one. pic.twitter.com/zAM6x3ny7P
— Tim Cato (@tim_cato) April 13, 2017
The 38 year old 7’0″ stretch four reached 30,000 career points this season and moved to sixth on the all-time scoring list. He is projected to pass legend Wilt Chamberlain for fifth on the all-time scoring list in mid 2018-19 if he has no major injuries. He also has stated that he is not going to play just to pass or break a record that stands.
“You’ve still got to enjoy the grind. Sometimes it’s tough. If you don’t like the lifting and all the practicing, or the extra shots, I might as well retire. I still love the game. The practices. The weightlifting sessions in the summer, when you’re on vacation, all of that gets a little old. Once the game starts and the fans, that’ll always be fun. So I’m going to do it as long as my health holds up. And we’ll see how long it goes.” Via ( Bleacher Report Timothy Rapp)
ICYMI: Dirk Nowitzki will return for his 20th NBA season, and hints that he’s interested in playing a 21st too.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) April 13, 2017
This season the 2008 MVP, 2011 Finals Champion, Finals MVP, and 13 time All-Star started to regress. Injuries started to take a toll on his body. Because of this, he dealt with injuries for a good portion of the season, only playing 54 games. His scoring took a four point hit and was just not as effective. However, he did average a good 14.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 43.7 percent shooting, and 37.8 percent from three per game.
After the Dallas Mavericks won the 2011 NBA Finals, the team has not been a championship caliber team ever since. This season they did not make the playoffs and are in the rebuilding phase. Next year the team will be rounded by Dirk Nowitzki, Harrison Barnes, Nerlens Noel, Seth Curry, and whoever the Mavericks select in the first round.
Having Dirk around this young team will only help them. He will be able to be a veteran and help develop this team into one of the better teams in the league again. Dirk has spent all of his 19 seasons with the Mavericks, so they will want to keep their best Maverick of all time until he retires.