If you ask Dirk Nowitzki straight to his face whether he’s thinking about retirement, he’ll give you a pretty straightforward answer. As recently as this preseason, the Dallas Mavericks forward said he doesn’t want a long, drawn-out retirement tour like a certain member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Instead, when Nowitzki decides to call it quits, that’ll be that.
Mavericks owners Mark Cuban has heard those comments from Nowitzki, and he’s not buying them for a second (via SI.com):
“Bulls—! Bulls—, bulls—, bulls—, bulls—, bulls—, bulls—! Yeah, he loves that little wave when he comes out and passes a milestone. He loves it. LOOOVES IT! I don’t care what he says. ‘I don’t like going to the All-Star Games’. ‘I don’t want a farewell tour.’ He loves it!
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“I remember his first All-Star Game, we literally told him he had to pack a knapsack, just in case we roadtrip from Philadelphia to Miami, and he packed one. Me, him and Nash…Oh my God…the s— we did. Can’t believe it’s been, what, 16 years.”
Come on, Cubes! You can’t stop there with the stories. It sounds like there’s some incredible Dallas hijinks we’ve never heard about. Can we at least get the details once Nowitzki does finally retire?
Unfortunately, there wasn’t an opportunity for All-Star-related chicanery between Cuban and Nowitzki this year, as Nowitzki missed the game. And that didn’t sit well with Cuban, who still cares about Nowitzki’s status as an All-Star, even if the big German claims he couldn’t care less.
It’s just part of a larger trend with Cuban and Nowitzki, as evidenced recently by the former’s jab at Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had called Nowitzki a "one-trick pony":
Cuban knows better, of course. And he knows better than to let Dirk slink away in the shadows when he retires. Nowitzki is basketball royalty, and he should be celebrated as such in every arena across North America.
We’d say we can’t wait to see what the Mavs will do for Dirk when he does hang ’em up, but that’s not quite true — because we are in no hurry to lose yet another of the NBA’s active legends. Stick around for as long as you can, Dirk. That way, your team won’t have the chance to prepare for your goodbye.