Dirk Nowitzki will be 39 on June 19th and this past season, he averaged 26.4 minutes and 14.2 minutes per game. Not bad for a big man who is two months away from his 39th birthday.
Nowitzki is old, but still contributing, and because of that, he’s announced he’ll be returning to the Dallas Mavericks for the 2017-2018 NBA regular season and may even stick around for the 2018-2019 campaign too.
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) April 13, 2017
Dirk says there's a good chance he'd come back for a 21st season if he feels this good at the end of the next one. pic.twitter.com/zAM6x3ny7P
— Tim Cato (@tim_cato) April 13, 2017
Next season will be the second year of a two-year, $50 million deal Nowitzki signed with the Mavericks back in 2016. The big man hadn’t committed to honoring that second season and pushing off retirement until now.
The 2008 MVP and 13-time All-Star has one ring from 2011, when he won the Finals MVP in the Mavericks’ victory over the Miami Heat. This past season, the future Hall of Famer also hit the incredible 30,000 point mark and rose to sixth on the NBA All-Time points leaderboard.
LeBron James sits at seventh overall behind Dirk at 28,787 points. Ahead of Dirk in 5th place is Wilt Chamberlain at 31,419. It’s highly unlikely, even if Dirk plays the next two seasons, that he’ll catch up to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 in first place.
While his 14.2 points and 24.5 minutes per game this past season are his lowest since his rookie season, the big man did average 18.3 points and 31.5 minutes per game two seasons ago. Dirk’s dip in production this past season was also due to injury.
The 2017 NBA Playoffs will be just the fourth postseason Nowitzki has missed since making his debut during the 1998-1999 NBA regular season.