Dirk Nowitzki to Return for 21st NBA Season

by April 11, 2018

Dirk Nowitzki made it official Tuesday: he will return for his 21st NBA season in 2018-19.

Nowitzki, 39, recently underwent minor left ankle surgery.

The future Hall of Famer was encouraged that he was able to suit up in 77 games this season, averaging 12.0 points and 5.7 rebounds for a 24-58 Dallas Mavericks squad.

Per the Dallas Morning News:

“That’s the plan,” he said as he sat with a calf-high walking boot on his left foot. “That’s why I went ahead and got the surgery, get the rehab process started early. I’m planning on coming back. I didn’t miss a lot of games this year.

“I said all year that I want to fulfill that two-year contract if possible. I saw nothing this year that was going to stop it. So we’ll see how the rehab goes the next few weeks and how the ankle responds, but obviously I’m going to work toward another season.”

But after 20 seasons, Dirk understands that while he wants to usher this franchise into its new era on something of a positive note, there are no guarantees.

“It’s kind of hard to sit here now after 24 wins and say we’re going to have 70 wins next year,” Nowitzki said with a laugh. “It might be a possibility we’re sitting here again next year with 24 wins, which I’m obviously not hoping, but in your mind it’s always a possibility. We’re hoping to get some good players in the draft and good players in free agency and move this thing along in the right direction.”