Nowitzki Reiterates Promise to Return in 2017

Monday night’s loss in Oklahoma City might have been the final playoff game of Dirk Nowitzki’s career.

But it won’t be his last game.

“I definitely won’t retire,” the future Hall of Famer said the day after another disappointing Mavs’ season ended with a first-round exit. “That’s out of the question. I feel like I can still play efficient enough to be there for the team. No, retirement is no question at all.”

Altogether now, whew!

I know, Nowitzki said during the season he intended to play maybe two more seasons. But after a grueling season in which he was the Mavs’ best player, you never know. At the end of Game 4 in Dallas he buried his head in a towel on the bench, looking the part of a dejected, defeated man.

But, even at 37, we should all be blessed with Nowitzki’s optimism. Despite the braintrust not supplying him without a quality cast to even win one playoff series since 2011, he remains loyal to and continues to have faith in general manager Donnie Nelson and owner Mark Cuban.

After averaging a team-leading 18 points and six rebounds this season, most of DFW spent the last two weeks feeling sorry for a legend with inadequate teammates. Meanwhile, Nowitzki was – again – way ahead of us and already pondering how the Mavs could re-tweak and try it again in 2017.

Even head coach Rick Carlisle lamented that we might have seen the last of Dirk after Monday’s loss. But Nowitzki was quick Tuesday to shut down that notion.

“The only way I would ever leave is, like I've always said, if we start five rookies,” he said. “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.”

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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