Vilnius (heinnews) – Just hours before the do-or-die game against Lithuania, Dirk Nowitzki said he will not retire from the German national team automatically if the team is eliminated from EuroBasket 2011.

“I always kept the future open,” Nowitzki told a group of reporters the day of Germany’s final Group E match in Vilnius.

“Of course I am now the oldest guy in the team. And we have to see what all comes in the future. I definitely think I will take a break. I wouldn’t say I will totally retire.”

There is much speculation that the Germany-Lithuania game could be Nowitzki’s last contest in black, red and gold.

The freshly-crowned NBA champion Nowitzki did not play at the 2010 World Championship because he wanted to focus on this EuroBasket since it serves as a qualifier for the 2012 Olympics.

The next Worlds are in Spain in 2014 with the Olympics in 2016 in Brazil, where the Dallas Mavericks star would be 38 years old.

One attraction for Nowtizki would be EuroBasket 2015, for which Germany is bidding in collaboration with France as well as Italy and Croatia.

“It would be a big thing. I have been with the national team a long time and never had the opportunity to have a European Championship at home. I think it would be a great thing for basketball,” said Nowitzki.

“You saw what happened with handball when they became world champions at home. It would be great thing. We also were European champions in 1993, I was even on hand live in Munich back then.”

Regardless of when Nowitzki hangs up his No. 14 German jersey, the German Wunderkind admits it has been a “fun ride”.

“We had some great success obviously. The (2008) Olympics for me will always stand out, also the silver medal in Serbia, and the (Worlds) bronze medal in Indianapolis,” Nowitzki said.

“There were some great moments that I will cherish with my teammates and coaches and everybody around the team. We had some great times and hopefully this week there will be some more to come.”

 

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