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Dirk Nowitzki has plenty of prime left

12/15/2011

DALLAS -- Most NBA players slow down in their mid-30s. Good thing Dirk Nowitzki has never been very fast.

“My game is based on zero athleticism,” the 33-year-old Mavs superstar said with a grin.

That makes it likely that Nowitzki’s prime will extend far past the norm. There certainly isn’t any indication that a Dirk drop-off should be expected during the three remaining seasons on his contract.

As coach Rick Carlisle pointed out, Nowitzki had arguably his best season as a 13-year veteran a year ago. Nowitzki shot a career-best .517 from the floor during the regular season and averaged 27.7 points in the playoffs during the Mavs’ title run.

How much prime does Dirk have left? Plenty.

“He takes great care of himself, he has a great motor for the game because he loves it so much and he loves to win so much,” Carlisle said. “And so, that has yet to be determined.Those kind of questions and those kind of situations, I’m almost hesitant to put a number on it because, look at Jason Kidd. The guy is going to be 39 next year and he’s talking about playing three more years, including this year. Reggie Miller was the same thing.

“Some guys have the ability and have taken care of themselves to the point where they can go on and on and on and on for a long time if they want to.”