2014 NBA All-Star Game: How Much Should Dirk Nowitzki Play?

By Greg Higgins
Dirk Nowtizki
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Being named to the NBA All-Star game is a great honor and Dirk Nowitzki knows it. For the 12th time in his career, Nowitzki has been voted to the All-Star game. It’s a great honor and Nowitzki loves being there with other great players each year. He has worked so hard to be a great player, and to be recognized as such by peers and coaches is great.

While all of that is great, the true question remains. How much should Nowitzki actually play in this game? He’s been to 12 of them and has played along side some really great players. Besides winning an All-Star game MVP, what else does he need to accomplish? My answer is nothing.

He is an NBA champion and an NBA Finals MVP. The problem, though, is at age 35, how many extra minutes does he need to be putting on his body? He’s already played more than 40,000 minutes in the NBA, not counting playoffs or All-Star games. That’s a lot of wear and tear on ankles and knees.

I’m not suggesting that Nowitzki is wearing down, because he has proven this year that he’s in just as good of shape as he always has been. I wonder though, if it wouldn’t be wise for him to tell the coaches that he doesn’t need to play a lot. Let other players get the spotlight and the time. Dirk has been there and he’s recieved accolades. Maybe it’s time for someone else to receive them this time.

Not only will this be nice for the youngsters, but it saves Nowitzki some extra minutes on those legs. Nowitzki is averaging 32 minutes a game for the Dallas Mavericks. It only serves to think that if they want to make a playoff push, they’re going to need him and his legs fresh, which would mean possibly not playing a lot of minutes in the All-Star game tonight.

Of course, Nowitzki is a competitor and he’s probably going to want to play as much as they’ll let him. For his legs, the Mavericks playoff push, and the fans out there, I hope he doesn’t.

Greg Higgins is a Dallas Mavericks writer for Rantsports. Follow him on Twitter, Like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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