NBA superstar Dirk Nowitzki signed a two-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks over the summer, but the 13-time All-Star said on The Jim Rome Podcast that if he has to battle injuries like he did last season, this upcoming 2017-18 could be his last year in the league.
“In my head, I’m thinking yeah, I’d love to fulfill this deal, I’d love to play two more years,” Nowitzki said. “But last year, for the first time, I had some weird stuff, I had some Achilles problems, I missed almost the first two months of the season which was really, really frustrating. It was hard to kind of work my way back mid-season to sort of game shape. It was a tough time for me, so if that happens again, and I missed 30-40 games, it really doesn’t make any sense.
“I want to be out there, I don’t want to be frustrated with something and battling back from injury all the time, but if the year goes well, and the body holds good, then why not try another? So we kind of have to see and wait and listen to my body and then we can make that decision next summer.”
Having been traded from Milwaukee to Dallas on draft night in 1998, Nowitzki has played his entire career in a Mavericks jersey. The power forward talked about his relationship with the organization and the city, and why he has left millions of dollars on the table over the course of his career to continue his career in Dallas.
“I’ve made a lot of money in this league. Mark [Cuban] has been incredibly loyal to me on and off the floor. He is a great supporter of mine,” Nowitzki said. “After my rookie deal, I was what 23, 24, and that’s when I made my first max deal, my six year deal at the time, he made me his franchise player. And you know, I felt I was so fortunate to be in the situation.
“I never really thought growing up that I would be in those shoes one day where I would be a franchise player and make max money. I mean that’s like a dream come true. Just the relationship I had with Cubes, with the city of Dallas that was always there, I always wanted to be here, be loyal and I wanted to be on a good team, and moving forward, I always wanted to help out.
Nowitzki continued on about the special relationship he has with his team’s owner. “Mark has always also been good to me, so we just had a great relationship. I say this all the time, how many owners come to their best player’s bachelor party,” Nowitzki said. “Cubes came to mine and we had a blast and that kind of shows what kind of relationship we had and have had over the years, and it’s been awesome.”
You can listen to The Jim Rome Podcast on iTunes, or wherever podcasts can be found.