NBA: Evergreen Dirk Nowitzki to return for 20th season

Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki (left) said last month that he planned to honour the final two years of his contract, form and fitness permitting.
Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki (left) said last month that he planned to honour the final two years of his contract, form and fitness permitting. PHOTO: EPA

Los Angeles (AFP) - Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki on Thursday reiterated his desire to play a 20th National Basketball Association (NBA) season with the club next season, and believes he could even play past his 40th birthday.

Nowitzki, who turns 39 in June, said last month he planned to honor the final two years of his contract, form and fitness permitting.

And the German ace reconfirmed that pledge on Thursday in an interview following the conclusion of the regular season.

"Definitely playing next year," Nowitzki told reporters.

Nowitzki averaged 14.2 points in 54 games this season, his lowest average since his rookie season of 1998-99 when he contributed 8.2 per game.

"If I feel like I did at the end, I think I can play another one after that," Nowitzki said, raising the prospect of playing in the 2018-2019 season.

"I will just leave all that open. When I signed on for two more years last summer, that was the plan."

Nowitzki became only the sixth player in NBA history to reach the 30,000-point mark this year when when he broke the barrier in March.

The power forward has scored 30,260 points.

The Mavericks finished outside the play-off places in 11th spot this season with a 33-49 record.