Dirk Nowitzki is planning on returning next season, making it his 21st in the NBA. That’s what he told The New York Times’ Marc Stein for his daily e-mail newsletter.
“As of now, I’m planning to come back,” said Nowitzki, who turns 40 on June 19. “I feel great. I’ve only missed one game all season. I signed a two-year contract because I wanted to play two more years. And here we are.”
As Stein notes, nothing is official yet. Dirk still has to check with his wife Jessica and Holger Geschwindner— not to mention also getting medical approval— before anything is final but the longest tenured player in Dallas Mavericks history, and the longtime face of the franchise, should be back.
For the past several years, as Nowitzki’s career shifted into its twilight, Dirk always maintained that he would continue to play as long as he was healthy and still having fun. Earlier this season, after reaching the 31,000 points scored milestone, Nowitzki again spoke about his continued love of the game.
“Yeah, I mean, [30,000 points] was obviously the big accomplishment but [reaching 31,000 points] still means that I’m out there helping the guys, scoring a little bit still,” Nowitzki said. “It’s still fun. It’s still fun to be out there with the guys battling good teams like tonight. It was a good one—fun to be a part of.”
If that wasn’t definitive of Nowitzki’s intent to return, Stein’s reporting leaves little doubt.
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