Dirk Nowitzki has never been one to shy away from talking about his eventual retirement from the NBA. Within the opening 30 games of last season, Nowitzki told the media that 2016-17 could end up being his last with the Dallas Mavericks “if things don’t go so well and it hurts everywhere” – although Nowitzki then went on to say his dream is to play until 2018. The former didn’t end up happening, of course, because he has since signed a two-year contract with the Mavericks, which means he will reach his goal next season of joining Kobe Bryant as the only players in NBA history to spend at least 20 seasons with the same franchise.
After that, however, it remains to be seen what Nowitzki will do. Perhaps he’ll move on to other ventures, but Ice Cube is hoping that he doesn’t decide to stop playing basketball altogether. If he has it his way, Nowitzki will simply transition from playing with the Mavericks to playing in the BIG3 – the 3-on-3 basketball league Ice Cube founded this year that features former NBA players such as Allen Iverson, Stephon Jackson, Mike Bibby and Chauncey Billups.
“We hope one day to have Dirk in our league if he still wants to hoop out when he finishes [with] the Mavericks,” Ice Cube told SportsDay.
“I think from the 4-point shot he would be deadly,” Ice Cube continued. “No one can stop him when he wants to just shoot it. He can come out and be a specialist. He doesn’t have to get in the paint. He can come out and just gun it from the 4. I think he’d be great.”
Ice Cube obviously has a point. Even though he recently turned 39 years old, Nowitzki is coming off of a season in which he averaged 14.2 points per game for the Mavericks on 43.7 percent shooting from the field and 37.8 percent shooting from the 3-point line. According to NBA.com, he ranked in the 86.2 percentile with 1.15 points per spot-up possession last season and he knocked down just under 40.0 percent of his catch-and-shoot attempts from the perimeter. Put that weapon on a spaced out court with only five other players surrounding him, and his team would have a ridiculous amount of room to work with.
Will it end up happening? Who knows. Nowitzki hasn’t commented on whether or not he’d be interested in playing in the BIG3, and he isn’t exactly the only player on Ice Cube’s wish list. According to Forbes, he and BIG3 commissioner Roger Mason Jr. also have their eyes set on Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Tracy McGrady. Nowitzki could be near the top of that list or at the bottom of it for all we know, but there’s no doubt he’d be a great addition to the league if they’re able to convince him.