Mark Cuban has owned the Dallas Mavericks since 2000 and Dirk Nowitzki has played for the team since 1998, so the two have developed a strong relationship over the past two decades. That was evident in Nowitzki’s recent contract negotiations with Cuban essentially giving Nowitzki an extra $10 million on what was originally a two-year, $40 million deal.
That’s a great way to keep one of the NBA’s all-time greats happy as he approaches the end of his career. It’s also a great way to get that player to talk about your loyalty.
“He’s been incredibly loyal to me, and I’ve shown obviously that I’ve wanted to be here last couple years,” said Nowitzki, who would join Kobe Bryant as the only players to NBA history to play 20 seasons with only one franchise if he completes the contract. “And I think he wanted to reward me in a way. It makes me obviously feel great and feel wanted. I’m happy that I can finish my career here in Dallas, where I always wanted to be, and hopefully finish strong the last couple of years.”
It seems like a guarantee that he will retire a Maverick, but the only question is if that happens after next season or when the contract expires.
“I always said I wanted to kind of take it year by year,” Nowitzki said Thursday while promoting a celebrity tennis event he will host Sunday at SMU. “But signing a two-year deal doesn’t mean I necessarily have to play those two years. I think we’ll see how next year goes, how the body responds, and then we’ll make that decision again next year. But obviously, I would love to play the next two years and then just see how it goes.”
Yeah, he’s already made enough money to keep his entire family secure for eons, but it’s always funny when a player has a “we’ll see” attitude when millions of dollars can be earned. “Maybe I’ll show up and play basketball for $25 million next season, but I don’t know. If I’m sore, I may just light that money on fire.” You could offer me half that to spend a year watching Kevin James movies and I’d drag myself to the theater with ruptured discs in my back. Then again, I had Chef-Boy-R-Dee for lunch yesterday, so Dirk and I are in different places.