Article

Nowitzki likely to come off bench for Mavericks in 21st season

22 September 2018 07:03

Dirk Nowitzki has been a starter for the majority of his NBA career, but the Dallas Mavericks center and future Hall of Famer is likely to come off the bench in his 21st season. 

Coach Rick Carlisle told reporters on Friday that the Mavericks do not plan on starting Nowitzki, explaining that it was a decision to help the franchise move forward. 

"At this point – and Dirk knows this, we talked about it – we have to move the franchise forward the right way," Carlisle said, via The Dallas Morning News.

Nowitzki indicated he understands the decision and believes it is the right thing to do. 

"It's all about winning at the end of the day," Nowitzki said, per ESPN. "Whatever puts us in the best position to win is the way we're going to go."

The Mavericks are transitioning to a younger group with Dennis Smith Jr., Harrison Barnes, Luka Doncic and DeAndre Jordan likely to play big roles as starters.

Carlisle also revealed that Nowitzki will be limited in training camp after having surgery on an ankle.

Nowitzki signed a one-year, $5million contract with the Mavericks in July, which put him in position to play his 21st consecutive season in Dallas to break Kobe Bryant's NBA record for most successive seasons with a single franchise.

Nowitzki, 40, averaged 12 points and 5.7 rebounds in 24.7 minutes per game last season. He enters the 2018-19 season sixth on the NBA's all-time scoring list and first among active players with 31,183 points.

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