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.