Dirk Nowitzki turns 40 today, Tuesday. And this summer, too, he is doing what he has already done for more than half his life: a tough preparation for the new NBA season. Will it end after the 21st for Würzburg?
Dirk Nowitzki does not yet know exactly what will happen in Dallas on Tuesday. “There will be a surprise party,” said the superstar. In his adopted country, a party is planned for his 40th birthday, which will probably be “not a small one, but rather a really big one”. But the captain of the Dallas Mavericks will not overdo it on his day of honour. Because he’s in the middle of preparing for his 21st season in the NBA. Will it be his last?
“Great, but also a little sad”
“I want to keep my decision about when I’m going to end my career open. Let’s see how it goes this season. A farewell tour is not my thing,” Nowitzki told the German Press Agency. He calls his 40th birthday a “milestone” and says: “It’s great, but also a little sad that time has flown by so quickly.” The title with the Mavs 2011, the participation at the 2008 Olympic Games as German flag bearer as well as the 2002 World Championship bronze medal and the 2005 European Championship silver medal with the national team – Germany’s best basketball player can report many highlights.
He always remained down-to-earth, approachable and is not only a role model in Dallas. No European scored more NBA points than he did, redefining the game of the Power Forward in his heyday. “I am delighted and grateful that I can still play at an acceptable level in this league,” said the native of Würzburg, who still has a contract until 2019. After an ankle operation a good two months ago, everything is going “according to plan” in rehab, and the 13-time NBA all-star wants to be “back in top shape” by the start of the season.
Nowitzki speaks of a “hard summer”, but the joy of playing is his motivation. If this is no longer the case or the body is on strike, he wants to resign. And what happens after the end of your career? “NBA coach is not for me. That’s not me,” says Nowitzki. However, he can imagine individual coaching with talents. Since the family will probably stay in Texas, he is also thinking about dual citizenship: “From the looks of things, our near future lies here. That would make sense.”