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Dirk Nowitzki leaves open possibility of playing beyond next season

We might not be saying good bye to Dirk for a while

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been widely assumed that the greatest player in Dallas Mavericks history would be hanging it up after the 2017-18 season. Thursday, Dirk confirmed he is absolutely returning for next season, his 20th in the NBA.

20 years is a nice, round number. We, as a society, like clean figures, easy to process and label. The Big German himself has even indicated as much, in numerous interviews and off the record comments. After all, he has three children and he’s accomplished all he’s set his mind to during his time in the league. One championship, thirteen All Star appearances, 12 All NBA teams, and he’s currently sixth all time in scoring in NBA history. That’s a career that one can walk away from and be proud of.

But what if he’s not quite done? What if there’s more in the tank? He left the door open today for two more years in a Maverick uniform.

Thanks to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News for the video.

When you look at these last two seasons, it’s not unreasonable to consider the notion of Dirk playing beyond next season. At 38 years old, Nowitzki is remarkably effective. Sure, he had his lowest points per game average since his rookie season, but his percentages are all in line with career averages and he actually just posted his best rebounding year per 36 minutes since 2004-05. He’s playing fewer minutes, finally, and if the Mavericks can continue to find and develop younger talent, Dirk is the perfect companion. He’s selfless while being ruthlessly competitive.

This news, even if he changes his mind down the road, brings me a phenomenal amount of joy. With Dirk on board, anything feels possible with the Mavericks. Let’s get out there and make it a great off season.