Dirk Nowitzki will set a new NBA record this fall when he officially enters his 21th season with a single franchise. But even after making history as a Maverick, Nowitzki isn’t ready to assume he’ll call it a career after the 2018/19 campaign. Speaking at a kids’ summer camp event on Wednesday, Nowitzki said he remains unsure whether next season will be his last, as Dwain Price of Mavs.com details.
“I’m going to make that decision (about retirement), I guess, once obviously I see how the season goes,” Nowitzki said.
As the veteran big man points out, he had a very healthy year in 2017/18, appearing in 77 games and remaining productive for the Mavericks. As he enters his age-40 season, there’s no guarantee he’ll continue to be able to stay on the court that often going forward, but if he stays injury-free again, he’ll want to consider all his options in the summer of 2019.
“If next year is going to go sort of the same (in terms of health), then hey, maybe, and we’ll leave the door open and I’m going to play another (season),” Nowitzki said, per Price. “But I want to approach this as if there is no tomorrow and then just hopefully have a great year. I’m going to try to be efficient again as I’ve often tried my entire career. We’ll just go from there, but hopefully it’s going to be a lot more fun than last year.”
The Mavericks’ win totals have slipped from 50 to 42 to 33 to 24 over the last four seasons, but Nowitzki is confident that this year’s roster has the talent necessary to reverse that trend. The longtime Mav called DeAndre Jordan one of the NBA’s most effective two-way centers and said that No. 3 overall pick Luka Doncic has “all the tools” to succeed in the NBA.
“I think we should be a lot better than last year,” Nowitzki said. “That’s not a secret.”