It’s been a weird season for Dirk Nowitzki. He’s been playing about as well as you’d expect for a 40-year-old big man whose had to overcome offseason surgery, but he has looked a little more comfortable as the season has gone on and he’s gotten back into game shape. Instead, the weirdness stems from the fact that everyone — from opposing teams to commissioner Adam Silver — believe this is going to be Nowitzki’s last year in the league.
The catch is that Nowitzki hasn’t said whether or not he’s surely hanging them up at the end of the season. He’s said plenty of stuff about waiting and seeing how he feels, but there hasn’t been anything cut and dry about his future.
Nowitzki’s latest update came via Tim MacMahon of ESPN, who spoke to the sure-fire Hall of Fame inductee about what the future has in store and got some insight as to what would motivate him to come back next year.
“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.”
The Mavericks’ future is indeed really bright, and the Luka Doncic-Kristaps Porzingis pairing is one that everyone wants to see, including Nowitzki. He’d set the NBA record for most seasons in the league if he comes back for year number 22, and coming back would let him spend more bonding time with Doncic, so there are plenty of incentives for him giving it one more go, even if it would make all these tributes from opposing teams a little awkward.