May 2, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) during the game against the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Spurs 113-111. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dirk Nowitzki: I'm not in the cream of the crop anymore

For years, Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki has been among not only the best forwards in basketball, but among the best players in the NBA, regardless of position.

Sure, there were always warts with Dirk, like his defensive issues, but despite that he was still among the elite in the game and for good reason.

Of course, father time takes pity on no player and Dirk, like many greats before, is slowly starting to decline, something he’s well aware of after he was not named to any of the All-NBA teams.

“For me, I had a good bounce back year, but I agree [with the announcement],” Nowitzki told ESPN Dallas. “Obviously, I’m not in the cream of the crop anymore. I think that’s no surprise. I’ll still try to be efficient going forward.”

While nobody is going to disagree, Dirk is still putting up impressive offensive totals and will likely continue to do so as long as he can make it up and down the court.

One of the better shooters the league has ever seen, Dirk will continue to play his stretch-four role with solid efficiency and doesn’t appear ready to leave the Dallas Mavericks in free agency despite reports suggesting rivals like the Houston Rockets wanting to bring him aboard.

Nowitzki has long stated a desire to help the Mavericks bring in additional big talent and has already talked such a plan over with owner Mark Cuban, so not only is Dirk a fantastic player on the court, he’s a franchise player off of it.

Tags: Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki

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