Dirk Nowitzki will be returning to the Dallas Mavericks next season for his 21st year in the NBA.
After playing in 77 games in the 2017/18 campaign, the 40-year-old has decided he's still in good enough shape to continue his playing career.
The Mavs will always have a roster spot available for him for as long as he wants to prolong his tenure in the league.
But it's definitely time for the German to begin thinking about retirement and plan ahead for when he eventually wants to call time on his illustrious career.
Owner Mark Cuban was speaking about the big man in a recent interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio and discussed his chances of playing beyond next season.
"I'd say it's under 50 percent right now but if he's playing 77 games and we're getting better, and we're starting to win games? You know what a competitor he is -- he's going to want to come back," he said.
Back to winning
With the acquisition of DeAndre Jordan in free agency and exciting European prospect Lula Doncic in the draft, the Mavericks' chances of winning next season look promising.
With Harrison Barnes and Dennis Smith Jr. also in the mix, Dallas will be much improved and be more of a threat in the west.
If they produce a solid campaign and sneak into the playoffs, there's every chance that Nowitzki may decide to play another year and Cuban believes he'll be able to do it with the way he looks after his body.
"Dirk knows how to take care of his body," Cuban said. "He is so precise and so meticulous about his diet and his exercise and his routine. And he's not going to lose his shot.
"So, depending on what happens to our squad, he might play beyond this year."
But the NBA champion still hasn't made a decision beyond next year and admitted last month that he's not sure what he'll do.
"I'm not a hundred-percent sure I'll retire next year, so I kind of leave that open," he said.
The 2007 MVP still hasn't officially re-signed with the Mavs for the upcoming 2018/19 season but he's expected to pen a new deal soon after opting out of his existing one.
The Nowitzki era will eventually come to an end in Dallas but as a true NBA legend, he has every right to decide when that moment will arrive and it won't be for at least another 12 months.
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