BERLIN (Reuters) - Retired NBA champion Dirk Nowitzki, who spent 21 seasons at the Dallas Mavericks, could see himself returning to basketball as coach or manager in a few years time, the German said.
The 40-year-old future Hall of Famer ended his sparkling career last week after more than two decades at the Mavericks with whom he was crowned NBA champion in 2011 and was a 14-time All Star.
“After one or two years I can see myself being happy... as a coach or a manager,” Nowitzki told Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper in an interview to be published on Wednesday.
“I would like to be a mentor for a young player and... accompany them through their career in my very own way.”
For now, Nowitzki is content to put his feet up and enjoy a glass of wine and a slice of cake, something he could not do for years as a professional player.
“In the past week I had some cake and I also had my first glass of wine after 10 years of abstinence,” he said. “I was really warm inside after only a few sips. That felt good.”
Nowitzki holds the record for having played the most seasons for the same club and is sixth in the all-time scorers list of the NBA.
Nagging injuries, however, took their toll on his body and continuing his career past the current season was impossible.
“What I did not want to happen under any circumstance was to say goodbye and be sitting at home, thinking ‘damn, you would really like to play now. Why did you do this’,” he said.
“But my body was not good. To be honest my foot where I had surgery last year was not well throughout the year. I knew it would not be getting any better.”
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Christian Radnedge