DALLAS – Just because NBA commissioner Adam Silver gave Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki sort of a farewell invitation to play in one more All-Star game this past Sunday, that doesn’t necessarily mean this is the 21-year veteran’s final season playing in the NBA.
One special occasion, coach Rick Carlisle reiterated on Wednesday, has absolutely nothing to do with the other.
“You’re wrong to assume that it is his last season,” Carlisle told the media. “We don’t know. He’s been very consistent, really, for multiple years saying that he’ll always leave it open and decide in the offseason, which I respect.
“When the time comes pretty clear – he’s not the kind of guy looking for a farewell tour. He loves the game, he’s given everything to the game, but right now he’s giving everything he can to our team.”
Thus, in no uncertain terms, Carlisle said: “I know you (media) guys want to show up once in a while and you’re trying to get some big quote. You’re not getting it from me.
“There’s a lot of people I have the highest respect for. There’s nobody I have more respect for than Dirk Nowitzki and everything that he’s done, and everything that he’s done for this franchise and for so many of us that’s been here for a long time.”
Nowitzki is a 14-time All-Star who led the Mavs to the 2011 NBA title. And on Sunday, he completely his storied All-Star game career by scoring nine points in just four minutes on 3-of-3 shots from 3-point range.
“Sensational,” Carlisle said. “The best 90 seconds of basketball I’ve ever seen. Honest to God. It was great. It was just great.
“It sums up his career. Just perfection. The perfection of the jump shot. It was great. He got in. He got out. See you later.”