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Brad Stevens on Dirk Nowitzki: ‘You can’t play this long if you don’t love it’

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is trekking through his 20th season, which during the process has continued to receive praise from around the league.

With a matchup against the Boston Celtics on the docket for Monday night, it offered an opportunity for head coach Brad Stevens to admire the level of passion that Nowitzki still has for the game.

The fact that Nowitzki is still playing into his late 30s is a clear testament to his commitment to the game of basketball despite his best days being behind him. He has also shown be an effective player in a limited role currently averaging 10.3 points on 42.9 percent shooting from the field and 36.4 percent from beyond the arc with 5.5 rebounds in 24.3 minutes per game.

At the same time, it also speaks to his strong work ethic to keep himself in shape and healthy enough to go through an entire NBA season at his age. He has shown signs of his body wearing down, but his ability to get through the grind of an entire campaign earns should earn much recognition as well.

Regardless of how much longer he plays in the NBA, he has already cemented his legacy as being a game-changing player that will be a sure-fire Hall of Famer one day in the near future.