Dirk Nowitzki has not said he’ll retire after the season.
But Nowitzki hasn’t declared his intent yet.
So, he was asked again about his plan after starting the Mavericks’ last few games.
Nowitzki, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
“I’d love to be there for the young guys one more year, but I think it depends on how the body feels,” Nowitzki said after producing 11 points, five rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes during Wednesday’s 110-101 win over the Indiana Pacers. “I’ve had some issues, obviously, this year. I had some knee swelling here the last few weeks, actually before the All-Star break, so it’s not all great. But like I said, I am feeling better. I am feeling a little stronger.
“I think I’m going to make that decision later on, but I think the future’s bright. I think Luka and KP, if they stay healthy, stay together, they should be a great combo. They should play great off each other. Both have an incredible skill set for their size, incredible playmaking ability for their size. They should jell well, but we have to see how it goes next year.
I’d be very surprised if Nowitzki returns next season. It’s hard to see a brief stretch of health overriding all the pain he has endured this season, including missing Dallas’ first 26 games. Even when he’s on the court, he’s mostly slow and ineffective – though occasionally very fun.
If Nowitzki wants to return, I bet the Mavericks would welcome him back. He’s a legend in Dallas and would provide value as a veteran mentor. The ball is likely in his court.
But this just sounds like someone who’s not ready to announce he’s retiring, so he expresses uncertainty. When the actual decision comes, I’d still bet on retirement.