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Mark Cuban: Mavericks have plan to celebrate Dirk Nowitzki at final home game this season

New Orleans Pelicans v Dallas Mavericks

DALLAS, TEXAS - MARCH 18: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks walks off the court after losing to the New Orleans Pelicans 129-125 at American Airlines Center on March 18, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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Dirk Nowitzki keeps saying he hasn’t decided to retire after this season.

Everyone else keeps assuming he will.

The harshest assessment came from NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who named Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade (who already announced his impending retirement) specially added All-Stars. Silver said of Nowitzki, “I saw him painfully running up and down the court, and I think it was clear that this was going to be his last season.”

Count Mavericks owner Mark Cuban among those planning on Nowitzki to retire.

Cuban on “The Speed of the Game with Dan Gilbert” podcast:

He’s feeling better now, so I think it’s not 100 percent certain. Which is going to create real problems, because we have this killer last game for him, the whole thing set up.
So, we’ll just get it twice. That’s OK.
It’s up to him. Whatever he wants to do.

Maybe Cuban really doesn’t know what Nowitzki will do. But I take these plans for Dallas’ final home game – against the Suns on April 9 – as indication Nowitzki will retire.

I’ve suspected Nowitzki decided to retire but doesn’t want the hoopla of a farewell tour. So, he hasn’t preemptively announced anything. He could have still privately informed people like Silver and Cuban.

But Nowitzki also might truly want to leave the door open for returning.

It’d be cool if he comes back. His 21 seasons are tied with Vince Carter, Kevin Garnet, Kevin Willis and Robert Parish for the most ever. Another year would push Nowitzki ahead, or at least keep him tied with Carter.

And if the Mavericks have to honor him twice, that wouldn’t be so bad.