Dirk Nowitzki battled injuries this season. The Dallas Mavericks are headed for the lottery and are in a rebuilding process (although since Jan. 1 they have been surprisingly good, outscoring teams by 3.2 points per 100 possessions).
Nowitzki is a legend and a lock Hall of Famer, the greatest shooting big man the game has ever seen, and the best European in NBA history. If he looked ahead at the Mavs situation for next season, what it takes to get his body ready on a nightly basis, and decided to walk away, nobody would think less of him.
Nowitzki says he is coming back.
Talking to ESPN’s Marc Stein on the TrueHoop Conversations podcast, Nowitzki said he will return for one more year.
“I think so … unless something drastic changes here in the next few weeks or the last few weeks of the season, which I don’t anticipate.
“I said last summer: I signed a two-year deal [and] that obviously meant I want to play for two more,” Nowitzki continued. “I want to complete that deal.”
That is consistent with what Nowitzki has said all along, although he has admitted the injuries this year gave him some pause.
Nowitzki, 38, has a $25 million team option for next season, and if he wants to return Marc Cuban will not blink at picking up the tab.
Nowitzki is sixth right now on the NBA’s All-Time scoring list with 29,952 points, he will pass the 30,000 mark in the coming handful of games.