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Dirk Nowitzki indicates retirement isn’t certain in 2019

A boot-free Dirk sounds happy, healthy, and ready to put in the work to get ready for year 21.

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

In an extensive interview yesterday with (really, go watch the whole thing), Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki would not commit to next year being his last.

“I said a couple of years ago that was it for (playing on the German) National Team and then we got the Euros in Berlin and I had to drag my 37 year old butt up and down in the European Championships, which I thought was never going to happen. I basically came back and played in those Euros, so you never say never... I think I guess at this age you kind of take it one year at a time. It sounds cliché, but that’s how it is — see how I come through (next year).”

When I hear things like this, I can’t help but get excited. I know there’s a growing chorus of Maverick fans who would like to get on to the next stage in Dallas basketball, but I’m not ready to let go of the Dirk-era just yet.

The raw stats are declining bit by bit for Dirk with each passing year, but his shooting percentages from the both the three point line and field at large were team leading. That’s valuable in the pace-and-space era, even as he enters his 21st season at 40 years of age.

It’s also important to consider Dirk’s mobility. Judging by the interview and the surgery, Dirk’s been hampered by his ankle more than he was willing to let on. Given his aversion to surgery in general, it appears as if he put off the procedure as long as possible, maybe even going back over a year. If he’s able to move around any better than last year, that adds to an offense that’s capable of putting up a lot of points in the right situations.

This may be Dirk’s last year. It might not. But there will never be another player like him, so we should enjoy his play every moment we can.