Despite his reputation of being an NBA workhorse, Dirk Nowitzki may miss the start of the NBA season.
Nowitzki has been ironclad for the Dallas Mavericks over the course of what definitely has to be considered an illustrious career. In the 20 years of playing for the Mavericks, the all-star forward has been an NBA MVP and a Finals MVP while also garnering the Mavericks their only championship title in team history. Without a shadow of a doubt, Nowitzki has had a storied career as a prolific shooter and no one can argue his candidacy when it comes time for Hall of Fame voting. But we’re not there yet, and Nowitzki’s career isn’t over. Rather, the German-born seven-footer is set to enter his twenty-first year in the league, a record-breaking year of play with one team. However, when Nowitzki steps on the hardwood floor for his twenty-first season is now questionable.
Still reeling from an injury and subsequent surgery that took place last April, Dirk Nowitzki is doubtful for the season opener versus the Phoenix Suns. As reported by ESPN, Nowitzki has had a minor setback in the timetable for his return from injury. This came about after going down with an injury to his Achilles tendon during a pick-up game at the Mavs’ facility while practicing. Despite the tendon only being sore, it has hindered and hampered the forward enough, in addition to his recouping from the ankle surgery from April, to cause serious doubt to his ability to be ready for Oct. 17, 2018, season opener.
However, Rick Carlise feels as if Nowitzki is making gradual progress but, “…We need to have him make some real significant progress… It’s a matter of going full bore and then feeling good afterwards.”
Before these last couple of years, the seven-foot sharpshooter had been incontestably durable. Nowitzki is the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history is set to surpass Kobe Bryant officially for most years in the league with one team this season. At 40 years old, the effects of aging seem to be taking a toll on him, and with that, his numbers are steadily decreasing. Given his age and injuries, it’s more than likely that when Nowitzki is able to return, his role will be limited and we may even see him coming off the bench in a more sixth-man like fashion.