Dallas Mavericks: How loyal is Dirk Nowitzki?
By Arsal Hussain
It was recently announced that Dirk Nowitzki had re-signed with the Dallas Mavericks, according to Shams Charania. The deal was reportedly worth $5 million, the same amount of his team option, which was previously declined.
With the new deal having been confirmed, this will mark the first time in NBA history in which a player has spent 21 seasons with a single team. It is very pleasing to know that the player is in fact Dirk himself. Entering this season he will be 40 years old, which is older than Dennis Smith Jr. and Luka Doncic combined. Many do not expect him to be the great that he was 10 years ago, but we all wonder how time has passed.
Nowitzki was selected in the 1998 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, but was traded away to the Mavericks with Don Nelson’s expertise. His rookie season proved he needed more work put in, but no one imagined that the 13-time All-Star would eventually become a Maverick legend and future Hall of Famer.
Nowitzki has had many accomplishments both now and in his prime. From winning 2007 NBA MVP to being in the rare 31K all time points scored. He’s everything the Mavericks ever wanted, including being the most loyal.
In today’s NBA, we’re now used to seeing loyal players leave teams, and teams trading loyal players. In fact, the Mavericks were at one point in a position to trading away their star big man. The Los Angeles Lakers had offered Mark Cuban a straight up Dirk for Shaquille O’Neal trade, which would’ve put an end to The Big German in Dallas. Fortunately, Cuban declined and the Lakers instead traded away Shaq to the Miami Heat.
We have also noticed how little Dirk’s salary is. He has gotten a total of $10M over the 2017-18 season and next season. The last time Dirk got the contract he deserved was in 2016-17 when he received $25M, thanks to Cuban. If you were to look at every other player in the modern NBA, it has become more about money than loyalty. We have to respect Nowitzki for taking the pay cuts all these years.
As soon as the NBA season begins, Dirk will make more history, passing Kobe Bryant for most seasons with a single team. Let the fun begin!