Dirk Nowitzki still wants Mavericks to be good

Dirk may be in the tail-end of his incredible NBA career, but that doesn't mean he's given up his will to win

The Dallas Mavericks, just two years removed from a NBA Finals win, have not had the most successful of seasons.

Injuries have plagued the team in a turnover that has many new faces on it that were not there just a few years ago. Many Mavs have been deeply affected by the injury bug, with a lot missing significant amounts of games.

But maybe the most important guy on Dallas' roster to be out for a good part of the year is none other than future Hall-of-Famer Dirk Nowitzki, who has made the long trek back from knee surgery to play in 48 of the Mavs' 77 games.

Having your best player play in just over 62 percent of your games in any season, disregarding any other circumstances, is never optimal for NBA teams, especially the Mavericks, who are in one of the Association's toughest divisions. And when that star is at the ripe old age of 34, it makes it that much harder for said player to lead his team as he could 10 years earlier.

However, in Dirk's case, it has not been him that has been the problem this year. It has been his teammates.

In the 48 games that he has been able to participate in the 2012-13 campaign, Dirk has averaged 16.9 points and 6.8 boards, stats that are not too shabby for a 34-year-old, injury-affected power forward on a probable non-playoff team. But when you compare them against his career year-by-year numbers, they are not very good at all.

This shows that although Dirk is by no means close to retiring from the league that he dominated for years and years, he needs a lot more help from his teammates now than he ever used to.

It is pretty clear that in this stage of his career, Dirk's quest of front-lining another successful, contending Mavericks team with minimal support around him would be futile. But as the former all star players feel, he wants to go out on top.

Therefore, in today's team-recruting-through-free-agency atmosphere, the German 7-footer has said that he will try to bring in top players to Dallas (article under paywall) for the potential sake of speeding up the necessary rebuild that must happen with this Mavs team. It is a move that many franchise players are hesitant to make, but one that Dirk feels must be done to create a contender anew. 

Dirk may not be the player that he used to be, in terms of pure unstoppability and explosiveness, but there is no reason why he cannot be a winner yet again. 

About Josh Burton

I'm a New York native who has been a Nets season ticket holder, in both New Jersey and now Brooklyn, since birth. Northwestern University (Medill School of Journalism) '18