Dirk Nowitzki envisions a “bright future” in Dallas, and is mulling suiting up for one more season.
Nowitzki, 40, says how his body feels heading into the 2019-20 campaign will determine his fate.
Dirk missed the first 26 games of the season due to an inflamed tendon in his left foot, but has scored in double figures the past three games.
“I’d love to be there for the young guys one more year, but I think it depends on how the body feels,” Nowitzki said after producing 11 points, five rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes during Wednesday’s 110-101 win over the Indiana Pacers. “I’ve had some issues, obviously, this year. I had some knee swelling here the last few weeks, actually before the All-Star break, so it’s not all great. But like I said, I am feeling better. I am feeling a little stronger.
With 9.4 seconds remaining in Monday’s game and his Clippers up by nine, coach Doc Rivers called timeout, picked up the PA announcer’s microphone and gave an impromptu tribute to Mavs legend Dirk Nowitzki, who called the moment “really humbling.”
“I think I’m going to make that decision later on, but I think the future’s bright. I think Luka [Doncic] and [Kristaps Porzingis], if they stay healthy, stay together, they should be a great combo. They should play great off each other. Both have an incredible skill set for their size, incredible playmaking ability for their size. They should jell well, but we have to see how it goes next year.”
Porzingis, who considered Nowitzki an idol while a kid, has quietly lobbied the 14-time All-Star to come back next season so they can play together. It’s a consideration for Nowitzki, but his focus now is on the daily grind required to give himself a chance to finish this season on a high note.
“I feel like I have a little more pep in my step,” said Nowitzki, who hit a pair of 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter to help the Mavs pad their lead over the Pacers. “My legs and my wind are a lot better than [earlier in the season]. I just feel better overall. I feel like I can actually contribute, whereas earlier I was struggling just to get up and down.”