Dirk Nowitzki confirms he won't be retiring and will play for the Dallas Mavericks next year

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Football News

As the curtain came down on the Dallas Mavericks' season following a 4-1 first round playoff series defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder, one question lingered over the entire franchise; would Dirk Nowitzki return to play for another year?

Thankfully for the Mavericks and its fans, they will not have to head into the summer with any uncertainty as the German has confirmed he has no plans to retire.

Nowitzki, at the age of 37, will go on to play in his 19th season in the league and exercise his player option for the final year of a three-year, $25m deal in Dallas. 

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That may not necessarily be Dirk's final campaign either as he confirmed earlier in the year that he would like to play 20 seasons for one franchise, which would see him join Kobe Bryant in that regard.

Speaking at the Dallas Mavericks' exit interviews the day after they were eliminated from the playoffs, he said:

"I definitely won't retire. That's out of the question. I felt great this year. I feel like I can still play efficient enough to be there for the team. No, retirement is no question at all."

Despite his age, the 13-time All-Star averaged a team-high 18.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game on 44.8 percent shooting and 36.8 percent from 3-point range in just over 31 minutes of action a night. 

He proved that he is still capable of playing at a high level and insists his body is not yet ready to give up on him.

''Felt great this year,'' said Nowitzki, who turns 38 in June. ''Feel like I can still play efficient enough to be there for the team.''

The 2011 MVP was slightly taken aback by comments made by his coach Rick Carlisle after the season-ending loss to the Thunder in which he said he hoped Dirk had not played his last game in a Mavs uniform

"We've got to hope that this isn't Dirk's last game as a Maverick," Carlisle said after the game.

"I think he will be back, but I don't want anybody to just assume anything, because he's been too great."

In reference to Carlisle, Nowitzki said: "I'm not sure where that came from. I never said I was going to leave this franchise. The only way I would ever leave is, like I've always said, if we start five rookies. 

"Obviously, that's not something that I want to be a part of, but as long as we go for it and compete, then I'll be a Mav."

With the veteran returning next year, the Mavericks front office can now focus on bringing in players in free agency that can help them make a deeper run in the postseason and be contenders in the west again.  

With a core of Dirk, Chandler Parsons, Wes Matthews, and Deron Williams, as well as one of the league's best coaches in Carlisle, the Mavs have the foundations of a very good team but this will once again be a big summer for them in terms of recruitment.

Chandler Parsons
Dallas Mavericks
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Dirk Nowitzki

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