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Dirk Nowitzki plans to take a ‘significant pay cut’ in next contract with the Mavericks

May 16, 2013, 4:03 PM EDT

Dirk Nowitzki AP

Dirk Nowitzki has played all 15 of his NBA seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, and has amassed quite a fortune while doing so. Not counting endorsements, the 11-time All-Star has pulled in $204 million in career earnings, which puts him fifth all-time in that category in league history.

As a result, when it’s time for him to sit down and negotiate his next (and likely final) contract with Dallas, it won’t be all about the money.

More precisely, it won’t be about the money at all.

Nowitzki was less than thrilled with playing out a season that resulted in his team missing the playoffs for the first time in 13 years, so he plans to do something about it.

From Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:

“At this point of my career, it’s all about competing and winning,” Nowitzki said Thursday after an event to promote AT&T’s “It Can Wait” program, which urges people not to text and drive. “It’s not about money. Obviously, Cuban took care of me for a long, long time. I always tried to pay him back by hard playing and being here for this franchise, so I don’t think we’re going to fight over money. I want to compete over these last couple of years. That’s going to be the goal.”

“I guess that’s something we need to look at next summer when it gets to the point, but I’m sure it will be a significant pay cut,” said Nowitzki, the lone constant on the Mavs’ roster during the 12-year postseason streak that was snapped this season.

Nowitzki is in a position where he can personally help the Mavericks in their ability to go out and get some free agent talent by vastly reducing his salary, and that can happen as soon as next summer in advance of the 2014-15 season.

In the immediate future, the Mavericks still have enough salary cap space to go after a franchise-changing player like Dwight Howard or Chris Paul, both of whom Nowitzki mentioned as guys he’d of course like to see sign in Dallas for next season.

The recruiting pitch will now include Nowitzki’s pay cut, which will give the team a ton of flexibility to stockpile even more star talent for the season that follows.

  1. zacksdad - May 16, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Would love to hear Kobe say the same thing. Veterans minimum for Kobe just to help this team. There have been many players in the past to take a pay cut to play with Kobe, now it is time for Kobe to give back.

    • mlblogsbig3bosox - May 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      I know it won’t happen but it would be so awesome to see guys like Dirk, Kobe, Garnett, Pierce, etc to take major paycut like earning veterans minimum or even mid-level exception.. I know I know it’s just a wild dream but man those teams would be good.

      • adairefulone - May 16, 2013 at 6:30 PM

        You are right it will never happen and it’s not just Kobe but a more of the mentality of Americans in general, the climate, and or approach to money is radically different for many Europeans. So it doesn’t surprise me that Dirk would be the one to even offer to do it, and why the Dutch baseball player Loek van Mil was considered an oddity when first drafted given what he was being paid to not even run like most American boys would do to the first car dealership drop a wad on the first thing smoking, but rather use his bike to get to to the spring training field. The culture here serves one things only, money and it will be our ultimate undoing.

    • mikerome64 - May 16, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      Kobe has said that he will retire when his contract is up. Kobe has made the Lakers and the league a ton of money, he has already given back.

    • loungefly74 - May 16, 2013 at 10:01 PM

      im sure Kobe will…no one is more committed to winning than him…

      • andrewproughcfe - May 17, 2013 at 8:19 AM

        Yeah – Kobe’s not all about the money – just ask his parents.

      • loungefly74 - May 17, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        well…that has always been that way since he dated his wife.

    • patfic15 - May 16, 2013 at 10:09 PM

      Lol. Don’t bet on it.

    • money2long - May 16, 2013 at 11:42 PM

      a pay cut would really impact kobe’s helicopter fuel expenses

  2. rickyspanish - May 16, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    Dirk just earned mucho respect from this hombre.

    • bendover09 - May 17, 2013 at 4:09 AM

      Everyone in the league should respect this man play ability on & off the court. Never once did he quit on this team. Even after the media scauld him for years and the city of Dallas talked trash about this man. Not once did he say anything or bad mouth the people. He is a future hall of famer and this story right here just explains how well taught his character is

      • 1historian - May 17, 2013 at 10:56 AM

        Thumbs-up. I remember when the Mavs won the title and just before the end of the game Dirk headed off court to the dressing room. He emerged soon but the fact that he did that and didn’t let anyone in was something I respect.

        I remember once when the Bulls had won it and MJ headed for the locker room and was crying because his father was not there and some a-hole stuck a mic in his face, along with the ubiquitous camera and the question “how are you feeling right now?” Which passes for journalism these days.

  3. Mr. Wright 212 - May 16, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    He’ll have to. That sharp decline for 7 footers begins at age 35, which he will be next month.

    • skinsfanwill - May 16, 2013 at 4:47 PM

      The average 7 footer bangs on a daily basis. Dirk shoots jumpers and will occasionally be spotted in the paint.

    • bigmeechy74 - May 16, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      I guess in your brain you can’t tell the difference between dirk and a typical 7 footer.

      • kinggw - May 16, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        In this case he’s right. Dirk has already begun his decline.

      • bigmeechy74 - May 17, 2013 at 9:51 AM

        I agree he has lost a step. But comparing him to other 7 footers made no sense. It isn’t like he is Greg Oden.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - May 17, 2013 at 3:33 AM

        He’s clearly lost a step. And it has little to do with banging in the paint and more to do with the fact that big men’s knees are what go south on them, regardless of their style of play. Knees have taken out almost every great big man in the past two generations, whether he was a bruiser in the paint or a guy like Dirk. Or Chambers. Or Nance. Or Sampson. Or Stoudemire.

        The list goes on and on.

  4. sportsnut101 - May 16, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Dirk the mavs would only sign u if u did take a payout so u not doing anyone any favors Did u Garnett n Duncan take paycut. It’s because their old duh

    Mavs ain’t getting no1 rebuilding next few yrs their best player is half man half amazing n he makes 3 mil. Dirk will have knee problems

  5. therealhtj - May 16, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    10-12 million is the going rate for over-the-hill superstars. Dirk taking less would be a discount. Vet’s minimum – that’d be significant.

  6. wsuperman4445 - May 16, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    with Paul Pierce becoming available and Dwight and Possibly Josh Smith and Chris Paul and for your Bench JJ Redick, and Jennings guards and a few others, this could be a very interesting summer… for Dallas

  7. kb2408 - May 17, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    The article is about Dirk, not Kobe. But since some of you numbskulls brought him into the conversation, I will comment. Dirk is negotiating his “next” contract. Kobe hasn’t made it to his “next” contract yet. Therefore, we don’t know what Kobe is going to ask for. Dirk didn’t give back any money last year or the year before that. Why? The same reason why Kobe won’t give back any of the 30 mill he’s making next season… contractually, they can’t. If Kobe could go to the LAKERS and say, “just pay me 10 mill next season and pay me 20 mill later, then take that money and sign a player or two”, if it meant giving him a better chance to win number 6, he would do it.

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