Dirk Nowitzki‘s legacy is locked in: NBA champion, greatest Maverick in franchise history, best shooting big man in NBA history, greatest European player ever in the NBA, a guy who helped change the NBA and how big men play. He’s a lock first ballot Hall of Famer.
The only question now, how much longer he plays.
As he has said before, Nowitzki said he’d like to play out his current two-year contract, but he will see how his body feels after this one, the German told Marc Spears of The Undefeated (in a story that covers a lot of Nowitzki’s life and is worth the read).
“I signed on for two more, so hopefully I can play those two,” Nowitzki said. “Last year with the Achilles [injury], I missed almost two months. It was frustrating and disappointing. Hopefully, injury wise it will be a lot better this season and maybe I’ll play another one. We will see how it goes this [season]. We will see how the body feels.
“As long as I enjoy competing and enjoy the games. … So many practices are tough to motivate yourself for. Games will always be fun. Competing will always be fun.”
Nowitzki sounds like a lot of greats who recently retired — Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, etc. — in that the difference was they didn’t want to put in the work to get their body ready for the practices and the grind. Guys always love the games and the camaraderie, it’s the other stuff that they are no longer willing to put in the work for. Nowitzki seems to be on that path.
Nowitzki is not the player he once was, but he’s still very tough to defend when he gets to his spots on the floor, and he’s still efficient. He’s also a draw and the talisman player for the Mavericks — as long as he wants to play, Mark Cuban will make sure he can.
So much went right for the Warriors in their blowout of the Lakers on Monday.
But there were a couple snags. Stephen Curry slipping and falling and air-balling. And Steve Kerr and Jordan Bell arguing on the bench.
Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area:
Kerr, visibly upset, addressed the matter but kept his comment brief and vague.
“It was a total misinterpretation of something I said,” he said, “and we cleared it up.”
Kerr surely would like to think this is the end of it, as would Bell. And perhaps it is. But there have been questions about Bell’s commitment and habits dating back to at least the middle of his rookie season.
Coaches and players say a lot of things quickly during games. A comment being misinterpreted and causing an overreaction isn’t the end of the world.
But it usually doesn’t lead to an exchange that looks so heated. That Bell thought Kerr said something so off-putting toward him – whether Kerr actually did or didn’t – is telling.
After a promising rookie season, Bell has declined this year. He’s not even a permanent member of the rotation. With DeMarcus Cousins returning, Bell could be even further deemphasized.
Bell has potential as a versatile defender who finishes above the rim and moves the ball well. Golden State could particularly maximize his skill set.
First, Bell – who’ll be a free agent this summer – must show he’s on the same page as his coach.
The Celtics eventually deleted the first one, but these two Al Horford tweets back-to-back are a masterpiece:
Russell Westbrook neared peak Russell Westbrook last night.
During the Thunder’s win over the Trail Blazers, he talked trash to Damian Lillard and exchanged pointed laughs and words with Jusuf Nurkic. Westbrook also scored 29 points, dished 14 assists and grabbed 10 rebounds. After the game, he mocked Evan Turner for stealing his trademark rock-the-baby celebration and called Nurkic a “clown” (to which Nurkic responded online by calling the Oklahoma City star “Westbrick”).
For better or worse – mostly better last night – Westbrook always brings that same energy to everything he does.
Luka Doncic has been showing his anger lately – kicking a ball into the stands and, last night, tearing his jersey entering halftime. At least that last outburst didn’t get him ejected.
Doncic got a fresh jersey for the second half and helped the Mavericks beat the Clippers, 106-98.