In an era where stars are in their primes to launch careers, Dirk Nowitzki, a perennial all-star, is working on a hot streak. At the age of 34, he’s still turning down multiple lucrative offers and signing long-term contracts with the Dallas Mavericks. He will remain with the Mavs for the remainder of his career. But what does this tell us about Dirk Nowitzki?
There is no doubt that he is a great player, one of the best ever. To this point, he has played under some very difficult circumstances, and the Mavs have shown great faith in him by continuing to give him a long-term contract. They see him as a solid contributor to a championship team.
However, is there any reason for Dirk Nowitzki to be concerned? Why should he be worried that he might not live up to his contract? His performances this season have been strong enough to justify this belief.
Yes, he is a great player. He might not be the best scorer or the best rebounder, but Dirk still scores and rebounds at a high rate. And when it comes to rebounding, he may even be better than Kobe Bryant or Chris Paul.
In fact, if you look at simple numbers, he is clearly the best at defending opposing ball handlers. When it comes to defending shooting guards, he is on par with both of them.
Still, it would be hard to say that he is a terrible defender. Still, he gets a lot of criticism because he is not as good at rebounding and defending the other areas of the floor. While he is not particularly good, he is a solid role player.
What’s a bigger concern is that Dirk’s spotty play may mean that he will get injured sooner rather than later. The Mavericks are counting on him playing well, so don’t be surprised if they let him go and trade him at the deadline. If this happens, the Mavs will probably miss him more than he’ll miss them.
Dirk also has the reputation of being a rather poor free throw shooter. He’s shooting the three at a rate well below the average. What’s worse, he is shooting a dismal 29 percent from the foul line.
While the idea of getting rid of Dirk is tempting, don’t forget the present. If Dirk is traded, it will be hard to find another team willing to give him the kind of contract that he wants. You can’t simply walk away from your future.
So, as a fan, keep in mind that Dirk is a great player, but he could use a few more attributes to his game. Of course, it would be nice if he were a terrific shooter, but we’re talking about a young man. Dirk’s ability to play multiple positions is undeniable.
Now, what does this all mean for the future of the franchise? Well, it means that Dallas is going to have to keep winning, and keep the fans happy, so hopefully they are able to find a way to get some new leadership in the mix.
Dirk Nowitzki is a franchise player, and as long as he plays like one, the Mavericks will continue to thrive. Perhaps he will retire a winner, or at least one of the great Mavs teams of all time, but as long as he stays healthy, he’ll probably be here for a long time.