With Dirk Nowitzki getting ready to enter his 19th season in the NBA, are the Dallas Mavericks already making moves to keep him with the team after retirement?
The Dallas Mavericks are Dirk Nowitzki’s team and will be until the day he decides to hang it up. That has been clear for a long time. But now, as the wind in his sail gets closer and closer to dying down, are the Mavericks already planning a future for Dirk after basketball?
Of course this all has to be considered speculation, seeing as Dirk is still one of the best players on the Mavericks basketball team, but let’s just look at a few things real quick. If by the end of this you still aren’t convinced that the Mavericks have something up their sleeve, we will just have to wait and see.
First things first, Nowitzki got a big, fat contract this offseason. This really doesn’t mean anything by itself but why is he all of a sudden getting this big payday after years and years of sacrificing to improve the well-being of the team? Is Cuban giving him the money he has earned all these years or is there something else in play?
I have to think personally that the Mavericks are ready to give Dirk all this money as an investment into the future. Dirk didn’t just become one of the greatest players to ever step on a basketball court. He changed the game with his abilities and work ethic. Someone like that would be nice to have on a coaching staff in the future.
The big check that Mark Cuban wrote for Dirk may be nothing, but it is hard to not at least think that this is more than just the Mavs giving back to their hero. There is at least a small level of an investment here.
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The second, and much more relevant change that I am noticing is the youth movement. The Dallas Mavericks have been one of the oldest teams in the league for the last decade, always surrounding Dirk with different veterans that can complement his style.
My guess is that Dallas wants to give Dirk a taste of the players he will be helping coach in the near future. Setting him up with young, moldable talent right now doesn’t just give him players to work with, but also grows a bond between him and those players already.
On top of that, many of these players have serious raw talent with a defensive mindset. Add in Dirk’s incredible offensive ability and these players could be stars in a matter of years. It may sound farfetched right now for the organization to be thinking that far ahead, but Dirk is not the kind of guy you let go of.
Whatever the case may be, it is hard not to at least imagine a situation where the Dallas Mavericks are building around Dirk in a way that goes behind just his play on the court. Could this become a reality in the future, or am I just grasping at straws?