Dirk Nowitzki is set to enter his 19th season in the NBA all spent with the Dallas Mavericks. He’s set to become just the 12th player in NBA history to play at least 19 years in the league. With that in mind, Nowitzki had an interesting response when asked if he felt closer to 28 or 48 by Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram.
“I think sometimes when I haven’t done much and you start through all the sideways movement and showing the pick-and-roll and stuff, you just get tight, you get sore a little bit,” Nowitzki said. “So I’ve been fighting through some soreness in the legs and in the hips.
“I’m usually pretty stiff-legged, but right now even more so. But usually, hopefully a couple more practices as the days go by I’ll be a little better.”
The 38-year-old has been quite a durable player throughout his career playing in at least 70 games in the regular season all but three times. Although his body isn’t reacting the way it once had, Nowitzki has gotten a grip on how to guide himself through training camp into the season. He did an excellent job of that last year putting together a productive campaign averaging 18.3 points and 6.5 rebounds in 31.5 minutes per game while missing just seven contests.
If Nowitzki hopes to get his mark at 20 seasons, managing his health will be critical as this will dictate how long he plays. He has shown that he still has the ability to be quite a productive player even in the latter stages of his career. All in all, it’s safe to say that Nowitzki is finally feeling his age.