Dallas Mavericks superstar forward Dirk Nowitzki plans to return next year to complete the two-year deal he signed over the offseason, the German legend told Marc Stein of the New York Times.
Here’s Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) on his plans for next season — which would be No. 21 in a row with the Dallas Mavericks — as covered in the latest @nytimes NBA newsletter that went out this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/6x7rE52raP
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 27, 2018
Nowitzki, 39, signed a two-year, $10-million over the offseason and has notoriously taken less money than would be expected of any NBA star. Nowitzki said he considered retiring over the summer but wanted to each 20 years with the only team he has ever played for. Year 21 looks to be close to a certainty.
“As of now I’m planning to come back,” Nowitzki told Stein. “I feel great. I’ve only missed one game all season. I signed a two-year contract because I wanted to play two more years. And here we are.”
Nowitzki was the league MVP in 2007 and Finals MVP in 2011, delivering the Mavericks their only NBA Title. A 13-time All Star and 12-time All-NBA selection, Nowitzki is currently sixth all-time in career points with 31,139. He is the all-time leading foreign-born scorer. This season, Nowitzki is averaging 12.2 points per game on 46 percent shooting in 24.8 minutes per game, the fewest since his rookie year.
Year 20 has been a rocky one for Nowitzki and the Mavericks (22-51), who will miss out on the playoffs for the second consecutive year. In February, Sports Illustrated published a story detailing rampant sexual misconduct and predation in the Mavericks’ front office. Nowitzki said he was ‘disgusted’ by the story.
Dirk Nowitzki on the investigation of the Mavs: "It’s very disappointing. It’s heartbreaking. I’m glad it’s all coming out. I was disgusted when I read the article, obviously, as everybody was. I was shocked … that our franchise, my franchise, that stuff like that was going on"
— Eddie Sefko (@ESefko) February 22, 2018
He also spoke out against team owner Mark Cuban’s stance that tanking could help the team. Still, it appears that the franchise cornerstone will be back in 2019 as the Mavericks hope to turn the corner with a young nucleus of players in place.