Dirk Nowitzki Says He's Likely to Re-Sign with Dallas Mavericks for 2-3 Years

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2014

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Dirk Nowitzki will be a member of the Dallas Mavericks for life.

That's the plan, at least. To be more specific, that's his plan.

The veteran forward, playing his 16th season in Dallas, indicated in an interview he probably isn't going anywhere this summer when he hits unrestricted free agency, via Sportando.net:

Nowitzki leaves himself an out by saying "likely," but this is the most definitive sign he's given about what the future holds; he had been non-committal at best previously.

More recently, he caused a stir when he posited that Dallas wasn't a playoff team.

"The way we let those games slip away, I don’t think we’re a playoff team," Nowitzki said after Dallas blew a 17-point lead against the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 15, per Tim MacMahon ESPN Dallas

This came after Nowitzki told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he had no plans of signing an extension this season the way Kobe Bryant did with the Los Angeles Lakers.

"I don't really want to look forward too much," Nowitzki said after a 110-96 loss to the Denver Nuggets. "I'm not going to extend, obviously, I'm going to play the season out, then we can talk about the summer."

To make matters worse, Nowitzki also admitted to USA Today's Sam Amick last April that he didn't want to spend his remaining days playing for nothing.

"Now that I already reached my goal [of winning it all], I really want to finish my career in Dallas," Nowitzki said. "But saying all that, I don't want another year next year with the same as this year, [with] the frustration and playing for the eight or nine seed."

Maybe he sees something in this year's Mavericks that we don't, because they currently have a half-game hold on seventh place in the uber-competitive Western Conference, where they don't figure to contend for a title.

Jan 11, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) watches from the bench during the second half against the New Orleans Pelicans at the American Airlines Center. Nowitzki leads team with 40 points. The Mavericks defeated the
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing Nowitzki says now is etched in stone, of course. His opinion on the matter could change. Another first-round exit, or failure to clinch a playoff berth entirely, could force his hand. He could leave.

But his return has always been "likely."

Perhaps encouraged by Dallas' performance this season after another underwhelming summer, and the team's financial flexibility moving forward, Nowitzki appears prepared to stay.

Alongside owner Mark Cuban, he carried the Mavs to prominence and won an NBA title in 2011. No matter what happens next, he can retire a winner.

Some idiot (me) predicted he would leave if the Mavs continued to play the way they are now. Now, before he even hits free agency, Nowitzki seems likely to prove that idiot (me) wrong.