Dirk Nowitzki Rumors

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#41
Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki
Position: F
Born: 06/19/78
Height: 7-0 / 2.13
Weight:244 lbs. / 111.1 kg.
Salary: $25,000,000
But Nowitzki doesn’t want the recent wave of admiration to be confused with some kind of farewell tour, because he doesn’t want to lose sight of the next game or the next practice. He’s not done yet. “I reflect at times, but I don’t want to reflect too much. I want to stay in the moment,” Nowitzki told The Vertical. “You reflect a little bit. All the hard work you put in, paid off. Go through everything. All the people that helped you around, your family, now wife and kids. The support system that’s been with you for so long. Doubters and critics early on. All that goes through your mind. It’s a feeling of a little bit of fulfillment. But just for a little bit. It lasts for a bit. And then you’ve got to keep plugging and keep getting better.”
Storyline: Dirk Nowitzki Retirement?
“You’ve still got to enjoy the grind,” Nowitzki told The Vertical. “Sometimes it’s tough. If you don’t like the lifting and all the practicing, or the extra shots, I might as well retire. I still love the game. The practices. The weightlifting sessions in the summer, when you’re on vacation, all of that gets a little old. Once the game starts and the fans, that’ll always be fun. So I’m going to do it as long as my health holds up. And we’ll see how long it goes.”
“In my soul, I’m still young,” Nowitzki told The Vertical. “I probably joke around more than any of [my teammates].” Dallas is headed toward its first losing season since 1999-00, Nowitzki’s second in the league. But the Mavericks still have a remote chance of claiming the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference despite a miserable 3-15 start. Just getting into the postseason was once unacceptable for Nowitzki – but not when he’s missed 26 games mostly because of a nagging Achilles’ injury and definitely not when he’s on a team that has nine players 26 or younger. “It’s going to be tough, but just to be in position to fight for something means a lot,” Nowitzki told The Vertical. “Chasing the playoffs, I like to focus on that. That helps, fighting for something. No team has ever made the playoffs after starting 3-15, so it would be sweet, obviously, to make history.
Nelson’s time coaching the Mavericks also served to help. Having helped engineer the draft day trade that delivered Nowitzki to Dallas in 1999, Nelson’s stint during Nowitzki’s formative years gave him great insight into how to frustrate the league’s MVP. “It helped a ton,” says Azubuike, who was plucked out of the D-League when Richardson went down in January. “He knew Dirk’s every move pretty much, and we made him turn the ball over a ton because of that. He’d get the ball around the free-throw line, and coach would say, ‘OK, he’s about to spin,’ and he’d have us practice sending one guy over there when he turned and we’d be able to get that steal. It wasn’t just that play; there were a bunch like that. It helped us tremendously.”