CHARLOTTE – Whenever he decides to hang up his sneakers, Dirk Nowitzki hasn’t yet decided what the next phase of his life will entail.
But he does know what’s immediately on his wish-list.
“The first is spending time with the family,” Nowitzki said during All-Star Weekend Media Day on Saturday at the Bojangles Coliseum. “They obviously had to sacrifice a lot for me to still do what I do, and be gone every day or every other day in the summer, train all the time and be gone for hours at a time, and travel.
“So it’s all about family for a few years, and I want to travel the world with the kids and eventually another challenge has to come. What that is or what that will be, I’m not sure yet. It’s definitely going to be somewhat with basketball, because the sport has given me so much over my career and over my life, how many people I was able to meet. It’s been a wonderful ride. I would definitely stick around through basketball, but I’m not sure in what capacity yet.”
What capacity the next chapter takes Nowitzki, it certainly won’t be as coach. The 21-year veteran was an honorary coach for the World Team during their 161-144 loss to the U.S. Team on Friday, and he realized that line of work isn’t for him.
“I enjoyed being with the young guys, but it’s actually a lot harder than it looks,” Nowitzki said. “Obviously I could draw up a couple of plays, and you draw a blank, and who’s in the game and who’s going where on that play, so it’s a lot harder than it looks. I give the coaches a lot of credit – it’s not an easy job.
“To handle all the crazy personalities, the characters on your team, to know the situations during the game, what’s the score, what’s the shot clock. It’s a lot happening during the game, and that was only a fun game, so for me it was a little overwhelming. I don’t think I’m going to be a coach any time soon, but it was a good experience.”
A reporter asked Nowitzki if he ever thought about one day owning an NBA team, and if he wants to buy the Mavs from proprietor Mark Cuban if he decides to one day sell the franchise.
“I haven’t really thought about that that much,” Nowitzki said. “That would obviously be an honor if that’s something that’s coming up down the line.
“First, I think I want to get away a little bit from the game. I want to spend some time with the family and then make some decision on what’s coming next.”
What’s immediately next for Nowitzki is that he’ll be competing in the 3-point contest during All-Star Weekend on Saturday at 7 p.m. Nowitzki won this contest in 2006 when he was 27 years old.
But now he’s 40 and on the back side of his illustrious career.
“Shooting off the rack is obviously different than catching and shooting in the game, but since I’ve done (the 3-point contest) four times in my career I should be OK,” Nowitzki said. “It should be a blast.
“Hopefully I can make a few and maybe get to the final round. That would obviously be my goal. But like I said, there a lot of great shooters out there, so it’ll be tough.”
To wrap up his weekend on Sunday, Nowitzki will be playing in his 14th All-Star game. And this one came after a special invite from NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who added Dwayne Wade and Nowitzki to this prestigious mid-season classic.
“This is great to be here enjoying this stage one more time, for sure my last obviously as an All-Star, so it’s been fun,” Nowitzki said. “I have some family in town, I have some friends in town, I’ve enjoyed some of the festivities, enjoyed coaching last night and getting to know some of the young stars that are coming up.
“I’ve had a blast so far and I’m hoping to finish this weekend tonight, and hoping to make a few shots and have some fun tomorrow.”