Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is undoubtedly nearing the end of his legendary career, but he has yet to make an announcement about when he'll officially retire.
As the Mavs continue to slog along with the worst record in the league, it's a sad ending to one of the best careers a foreign-born player has ever had.
However, Nowitzki insists his team's struggles (they're currently 2-12 through 14 games) won't factor into his retirement decision at all.
No, he told ESPN.com, his decision will be based on listening to his body and retiring when he decides he can't go through the rigors of training anymore. He did admit that the end is probably getting close, though:
"It's how the body feels," Nowitzki told ESPN, adding that the Mavs' place in the standings won't play a part in his decision.
"I'd love to play every game. I'm not sure how realistic it is, but that's how I approached the season. I want to be out there, want to move and want to be out there with the guys. We'll just have to sit and relax [after] I play through the season and see how I feel. Probably that decision won't be made until the summer."
Currently, Nowitzki is averaging 10.1 points in 23.9 minutes per game - a far cry from the production at his peak - but he is still a valuable member of the Mavericks.
Nowitzki is a legend in Dallas and everyone in the organization wants him to stick around as long as he's happy. Owner Mark Cuban said he'd be thrilled to have Nowitzki back next year:
"I hope so," Cuban said when asked whether he believes Nowitzki will opt to play next season at age 40. "I think there's a really good chance he is [coming back], because he wants to break the record for years with one team and be that one guy. Not many people have that opportunity.
"He's still having fun."
It'll be tough for Nowitzki to keep having fun if the Mavericks keep losing, but with a young team (other than him), Dallas will suffer some growing pains this year.
The young players on the Mavericks could do a lot worse than having Nowitzki as a mentor, so it'll be interesting to see how much of a role he accepts in mentoring players on and off the court.
The legendary big man has one of the smoothest jumpers in NBA history, and thankfully for fans, it won't be going away just yet.