From the sound of it, life away from the NBA has been treating former Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki pretty well.
First and foremost, Nowitzki has more than enjoyed the additional relaxation and free time that comes with being a retired NBA player. Along with that, he has also been able to have the kind of diet he might have dreamed of having as an NBA superstar.
“It’s been a blast,” Nowitzki said Wednesday night, per Dwain Price of Mavs.com. “It’s been everything I’ve dreamed of — drinking everything and eating everything in sight on vacation and not really worrying about anything about staying in shape.
“I think, like I said, eventually I’m going to find a little routine, I’m going to start working out again and enjoying that. But as of now I literally have zero motivation to go work out.”
Hard work and diligence marked Nowitzki’s playing career, as he finished his career as the highest-scoring foreign-born player in NBA history (31,560 points). The league’s 2007 MVP and 2011 NBA Finals MVP worked hard to be one of the best players in the NBA in his prime and was well known for his signature one-legged fadeaway jumper.
In retirement, though, Nowitzki has been living it up off the court — and not just in what he eats. He threw out the first pitch in the Texas Rangers’ home game Wednesday night against the Baltimore Orioles. He was the guest of honor at an FC Dallas soccer game in May, getting to place a scarf around the neck of the statue of Lamar Hunt before the match and was later honored on the field. He also scored on a penalty kick during a halftime ceremony.
Before attending the Rangers game, Nowitzki and his family had just returned on Tuesday from vacationing in the Caribbean and at Disney World. His annual Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game is Friday at 7 p.m. at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas. Current and former Mavs players — such as Michael Finley, Shawn Marion, Courtney Lee and others — will be playing in the game as will Mavs owner Mark Cuban. Additionally, Dallas Cowboys stars Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and others from the team will suit up, too.
Dirk, getting ready for batting practice to prep for his annual charity baseball game: “I’m not missing basketball. I’m not missing working out one bit.”
After spending the past two seasons dealing with injuries and ankle surgery last April, Nowitzki has been enjoying this relaxing pace of life.
“I was ready for it,” Nowitzki said, regarding retirement. “This season was tough for me. I’ve moved on.
“I haven’t worked out once yet in (almost) two months. I played a little bit of tennis, but I haven’t really seen the inside of a gym, so that’s different. Just letting go and enjoying the family.”
Additionally, his body is still getting used to the new diet and routine he’s been enjoying.
“I love pizza, I love pizza,” Nowitzki said. “I had it probably on vacation every other day. I love sweets, ice cream, I love desserts. I’ve tried all sorts of junk food already.
“My body’s not really used to it, so it’s been catching up with me a little bit.”
Nowitzki, who will turn 41 on June 19, is awaiting what the next phase of his life will bring.
“I want to get away for a year or two and travel and enjoy the family,” said Nowitzki, who turns 41 on June 19. “I’m sure there’s another challenge out there waiting for me. Whether that’s with the Mavs or in another field, I have no idea.
“But as of now I don’t think that’s something I think about. I want to enjoy, I want to get away, I want to do some stuff that I wasn’t able to do the last 20 years. Eventually that’s going to get a little old and then I’ll need a new challenge in life. But as of now I haven’t gotten to that point yet.”
The Mavs paid tribute to Dirk Nowitzki at his final home game.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.