Dallas Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki’s potential Swan Song

Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

This could be the final season of Dirk Nowitzki on the Dallas Mavericks. Even with his retirement pending, he will give the game his all.

The Dallas Mavericks‘ last few years consists of bringing in shiny new toys, such as the high-flying dunks from Dennis Smith Jr, and recently, the flashy-passing Luka Doncic. While Dirk Nowitzki is in the corner with a grin on his face, fans are clamoring over the newer editions to the Mavericks.

Nowitzki and the younger potential stars of the team are reminiscent of the Pixar masterpiece “Toy Story”, except Nowitzki isn’t plotting to dispose of DSJ and Doncic. However, it’s in the moment of realization where Woody understands the importance of Buzz Lightyear which relates to this situation. In the last days of Nowitzki as the selfless star of Dallas, it’s getting easier to rest on the inevitability of him hanging up his Nike Hyperdunks.

Doncic and Smith Jr are the players the Mavericks were chasing (coincidentally) while Nowitzki was shaking off his championship hangover.

Easing into retirement

With Dirk Nowitzki’s projected one-year deal finalization imminent,  Mavericks’ fans can rest assured that the core is secure. This season, more than previous years, is bittersweet. Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. get looked at with wonder and glee.

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On the other side of the spectrum, Nowitzki could very well retire Tim Duncan style, with no preordained proclamation. Donnie Nelson finally found some young bucks with superstar potential. Unfortunately for Nowitzki, it is coming on the last leg of his playing career.

Evolution of the Mavs

However, for the fans, this is a beautiful evolution. Years ago Dallas was striking out left and right on “superstar” talent in NBA free agency. At the time, the idea of a shift in team-building approach didn’t seem realistic. Mark Cuban must have had a realization. Perhaps, it was totally missing on Giannis Antetokounmpo in the draft. Donnie Nelson was public about his aspirations of drafting “The Greek Freak”. After years of Antetokounmpo increasing his stock, maybe Cuban realized the error in his ways.

Nowitzki took far less money than what he could have acquired on the open market. Loyalty is said to be dead in the NBA. If it ever was alive, Nowitzki and Duncan were walking anomalies.

Youthful revitalization

In what is possibly the last season we can witness the one-legged fadeaway perfector, Nowitzki still hasn’t indicated such as truth. For all we know, the youthful empowerment of Dennis and Luka could inspire Dirk to see what another few seasons entail. Fan pipe dream or not, Nowitzki is the exception to many rules of the NBA.

Nowitzki shot a team-high 40 percent from deep last season. DSJ and Doncic attacking teams with the pick-and-pop with Nowitzki as the receiver is still a valid option. It’s not as if the Mavs are using Nowitzki as a ploy to get fans to come out. His contributions affect the court and locker room to this day.

The future in Dallas

Veterans aren’t prone to welcoming their replacements with open arms. Society, in general, isn’t warm to the thought of being eclipsed by another individual. In this case, Nowitzki doesn’t play the same position as Doncic, even so, it’s clear the Mavericks see him as the future star.

Nowitzki wants the best for the city of Dallas, as alluded to with his numerous discount deals. Nowitzki won the Mavericks its lone championship, and rightfully so, the immunity was naturally granted. Nowitzki’s calming sense allowed the Mavericks’ front office to practice trial and error.

Mavericks’ ticket prices are likely to rise this season. With the arrival of Doncic, the rookie phenom, and the emotionally driven purchase, the potential swan song of Nowitzki, rightfully warrants price ascension. We can speculate on the idea of him playing into his 40’s, which is somehow both plausible and ridiculous, although the public won’t know until it’s too late.

Personally speaking, I haven’t purchased a Mavericks ticket in two seasons. To claim Nowitzki’s departure wouldn’t hit my soul would be assuming I have no soul. Playoffs or not, this team deserves the city of Dallas’ attention, hell, it deserves the league’s attention. However, Dallas residents can control how we appreciate Dirk in his final year(s).

Brightness ahead

The future is bright in Dallas, years ago those words were deemed unfathomable. During the years of summertime failures, it seemed as if Nowitzki’s would walk off into the sun followed by darkness looped on end. Contrary to past mistakes, the Mavericks’ front office put together two consecutive positive offseasons. Mavs’ fans eagerly await the dawn of a new generation of stars.

Even if the future is bright, never forget the past which made the future possible. Nowitzki didn’t dominate advertisements, nor was he the flashiest player, but the apparent struggle he endured to hoist the Larry 0′ Brien trophy will never slip from our memories. Point being, appreciate what you have while it’s still in sight.

Next: 6 available free agents the Mavs should target

To quote one of the best closing lines ever:

“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good ole’ days before you’ve actually left them”