Time for retirement for Dirk Nowitzki?

nowitzkiOn paper, forward Dirk Nowitzki might be in the twilight of his career. Nowitzki’s numbers have dropped compared to the 2011-12 season, as he was averaging 17.3 ppg, compared to 21.6 the preceding year.

Is it time for Nowitzki to retire? Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban hopes that the 35-year old 11-time All-Star can play until he’s 40 years old, Star-Telegram reported.

“Dirk is [serious] about his health — he’s disciplined,” Cuban said. “He won’t eat fried foods during the season, he won’t drink during the season.”

“He’s disciplined enough that I think he sees guys like [38-year-old Miami Heat guard] Ray Allen and others who are going later and later and later. So who knows? I won’t put a limit on him.”

Cuban said because Nowitzki is conscious about exercise and watching his caloric intake, his career could extend a few more years.

“I don’t think people realize the level of discipline that he has in terms of diet, workout, routine,” Cuban said of Nowitzki, who is entering his 16th season. “The guy is a machine.”

By playing 33 minutes in the opener Wednesday, Dirk Nowitzki surpassed 40,000 for his career, becoming the 27th player in history to reach that milestone.

“That’s a lot of minutes. Is that just regular season? Probably another 20 (thousand) in the playoffs,” Nowitzki said.

Actually, it’s only 5,281 minutes in the playoffs that he’s accumulated. If that doesn’t sound like much, it’s the equivalent of at least two full regular seasons.

Nowitzki now has 40,008 total minutes, excluding the playoffs and preseason.

“It’s been a long ride,” he said. “I can’t believe I’m entering my 16th season. Time flew by, but hopefully I’ve got another 10,000 in me or 15,000 and then I’m able to ride into the sunset.”

Nowitzki is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $22.7 million this season. He has said he plans to retire one day as a member of the Mavericks.


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