Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Dirk Nowitzki admits injuries could force him to retire after this season

Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) celebrates as he leaves the court during the final minute of the second half in an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Monday, April 11, 2016, in Salt Lake City. The Mavericks won 101-92. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)


Dirk Nowitzki has played in just five games this season due to a sore Achilles, and in the ones where he’s stepped on the court the future Hall of Famer hasn’t looked at all like himself. Currently, he remains sidelined with no timetable for his return.

At age 38, this has Nowitzki thinking about retirement. He admitted as much to the German magazine Sport Bildvia the Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Yahoo.

“If things don’t go so well and it hurts everywhere, it could be that 2017 will be the end,” the forward told German magazine Sport Bild.

“Actually, my plan is to complete the 20 years and play for Dallas until 2018.

“But just because I have signed a two-year contract doesn’t automatically mean that I will play for two years. It could happen next year.”

Dallas has already started to take a step to a post-Nowitzki world with the signing of Harrison Barnes last summer. Barnes told us in today’s PBT Podcast that Nowitzki is working with him on how to adjust to the plays run for him, and just adjusting to being a No. 1 scoring option.

This summer might be the one where Dallas stops trying to bring in veteran centers (the currently injured Andrew Bogut this year) and building its roster thinking they want to hang on to being a playoff team with Nowitzki longer. Dallas needs a bit of a rebuild, not a Philly style tanking but a down year and a couple of quality drafts. They may get that this year whether they are tanking or not, as they are tied for the worst record in the league.

But the league will not be quite the same without the efficient scoring German. There have been a lot of greats stepping away from the game recently, and he would add to that list.