Southwest Notes: Nowitzki, Duncan, Rockets

Responding to a Twitter follower who recently encouraged him to retire, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki jokingly tweeted, “I will, my man (in a few years).” The exact number of years Nowitzki has left remains unknown, but that reply suggests he’s not entering his age-38 season expecting it to be his last. During an appearance on KRLD-FM 105.3 The Fan in Dallas (link via Dallas Morning News), the 18-year NBA veteran admitted he’s getting a little “nervous and anxious” to get training camp started, adding that he’ll probably know it’s time to call it a career when he doesn’t experience those feelings as a new season approaches.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • For the first time in nearly two decades, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is preparing for a season without Tim Duncan on his roster, and he tells Buck Harvey of The San Antonio Express-News that he has a “hole in his gut” as a result of the future Hall-of-Famer’s absence. According to Harvey, many people within the Spurs organization believe Duncan will eventually join the team in a full-time role, perhaps focusing on personnel rather than coaching.
  • In his review of the Rockets‘ offseason, Shaun Powell of notes that the team emphasized offense by extending James Harden and hiring Mike D’Antoni, which was probably the right choice but could “backfire spectacularly.”
  • After having outperformed his previous contract, Mavericks big man Dwight Powell will be under more pressure this season, as he attempts to make good on his new four-year, $37MM+ deal, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News.
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