Can Dirk Nowitzki play for 20 years in Dallas?

How long will Dirk Nowitzki keep playing?
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

In his 18th season with the Dallas Mavericks, superstar forward Dirk Nowitzki is still going strong. Despite being 37 years old and having played over 50,000 combined regular season and playoff minutes, Nowitzki is putting together an excellent season.

In a little over 30 minutes a game, Nowitzki is averaging 17.4 points and 6.9 rebounds while shooting 48 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from behind the arc.

Nowitzki just seems to be getting more and more efficient, which has raised some interesting questions: just how long can he keep playing?

Although Nowitzki hasn't been specific with how long he wants to keep playing, it is certainly possible that he'll play for 20 years with the same franchise, which is something rarely accomplished in sports.

Here's what Nowitzki told Tim MacMahon at ESPN.com:

“Yeah, I think 20 years is special, especially with one franchise,” Nowitzki told ESPN.com. “So that would mean I at least have to play one more [season after this contract expires], but I think that's something I worry about later. I don't want to look too far ahead because the end is near. I don't want to look too far ahead.”

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