Unlike Dirk Nowitzki, Marion isn’t committed to retiring as a Maverick. Marion’s response to a question about whether he wants to finish his career in Dallas was to steer the conversation back to competing for a title.
“When you start hitting that 13, 14, 15, 16 years in the league, if you ain’t playing for a championship, it’s a disappointment,” said Marion, whose defensive prowess and veteran savvy could be attractive to a contender in the trade market. “Ain’t no beating around the bush to it. You’re sticking around for one reason. You ain’t sticking around for the money at that time. You’re sticking around because you love the game, you love to compete and you want to add something to your legacy.”
Marion’s legacy in Dallas will be that he was a key cog in the Mavericks’ 2011 title run, spearheading the defensive effort against Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and LeBron James in those playoffs. He wants a chance to make that kind of impact for a contender again.
“Of course. I don’t want to sell myself short,” said Marion, who is due $9.3 million next season and has a 15-percent trade kicker in his contract. “I don’t have to keep playing this game. When you put yourself in position for life after basketball and you’re playing currently right now, you’re playing because you’ve love the game. You’re playing because of the competitive nature in you, that dog in you to compete for something else, for another part of your legacy.
“You’re not playing to be a (expletive) All-Star 15 years into the league. You’re playing for a (expletive) championship. That’s what it boils down to.”
By no means is Marion lobbying to be traded by the Mavs. If the 14-year veteran does get dealt while the Bank of Cuban does business, however, Marion just hopes he’ll move up significantly in the standings.