<![CDATA[Dirk Nowitzki isn't done playing basketball for the Dallas Mavericks yet.
The 38-year-old big man told ESPN’s Marc Stein on the TrueHoop Conversations podcast that he plans to return for his 20th season.
“I think so … unless something drastic changes here in the next few weeks or the last few weeks of the season, which I don’t anticipate,” Nowitzki said. “I said last summer: I signed a two-year deal [and] that obviously meant I want to play for two more. I want to complete that deal.”
Nowitzki, a future Hall of Famer, ranks sixth all-time in scoring and is 48 points shy of joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain as players to score 30,000 points.
If Nowitzki follows through on coming back for his 20th season, he’ll join Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant as the only player in the NBA to play 20 seasons with one team.
“Twenty is a great number,” Nowitzki told Stein. “I think 20 seasons also with one team, like I’m trying to do it — I think only Kobe has done it — that’s another great accomplishment. So I kinda want to make the 20 fold. Plus that summer I’m turning 40. I think that’s also a good number to be in the league … from 20 to 40. That’s what I’m looking at.
“‘Hopefully I’ll finish this season out strong, and then have a decent year, hopefully not as [many] injuries next year.”
Nowitzki missed six games with an Achilles injury earlier this season. But when healthy, the 13-time All-Star can still play at a high level. Nowitzki is averaging 13.6 points and 6.4 rebounds in a little over 26 minutes per game this season.]]>