The Big German is, arguably, the best international player to ever play the game. His resume consists of 13 All-Star selections, 2010-11 NBA Champion, 2010-11 Finals MVP, 12x All-NBA, and the 2006-07 MVP. Obviously, with a history like that, Dirk Nowitzki has got nothing else to prove.

Despite that, he has yet to call it quits, no matter how irrelevant the Mavericks may be. And, according to the big man himself in a chat with Dallas news.com, next year will be no exception,.

“I’m not going to say 100 percent I’ll be back — but it’s looking like it,” Nowitzki said after the Mavs’ morning walk-through in downtown San Francisco. “I feel fine so far. I’ve played every game. I’d love to play all 82. That would be amazing at 39. We’ll see how the body feels. But so far, it’s been fine.”

While Nowitzki has seemingly taken a dip (averaging 11.1 points per game, his lowest since his rookie season), his presence is still a huge plus for a Mavericks team that doesn’t have many other options. If nothing else, his voice in the locker room will help keep things bearable until something changes.

But no matter when those changes may come, Dirk’s not going anywhere — at least, not quite yet. His heart, his passion, his love for the game is still there. The day that goes away is the day he’ll say goodbye. But judging from the words out of his own mouth, that day is not today.

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