Dirk Nowitzki to ‘leave the door open’ for a return past 2018-19 season
Dirk Nowitzki is set to play in his 21st season in the league after deciding to ink a one-year, $5 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks.
This has once again brought into question his commitment after that campaign with retirement now lingering as he winds down from what has been an illustrious NBA career. According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, Nowitzki has voiced that he has left the door open to coming back for another season.
“I think I will make that decision once I see how the season goes. I almost played the entire season last year. I was healthy and obviously could have played every game, but I decided to have surgery early. If next year is going to go sort of the same, then hey, maybe. I am going to leave the door open. I’m going to play another, but I want to approach this like there is no tomorrow and hopefully have a great year. Try to be efficient again like I have tried to be my whole entire career. We will just go from there. Hopefully, it’s going to be a lot more fun than last year.”
Dirk says he will approach this season as if there is “no tomorrow,” but “I’m going to leave the door open” to playing in 2019-20 if his body feels good. pic.twitter.com/mbSu6Ex8nY
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) August 8, 2018
This decision for Nowitzki ultimately depends on how his body feels after next season in what will be yet another year under his belt. He was able to play nearly all last season, but he had decided to undergo season-ending ankle surgery that prematurely ended his 2017-18 campaign.
The 40-year-old has shown that he can still play at a high level in a limited capacity, averaging 12.0 points on 45.6 percent shooting from the field and 40.9 percent from beyond the arc, the third-highest mark of his career. If he can also maintain that level of effectiveness next season, it could possibly push him to continue his NBA career.
Ultimately, whether he will come back for an NBA-record 22nd season is a decision to be made next summer.