Mark Woods, special to, reports:

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki, as proud a German as he is a Maverick, will listen to his gut but also to his body. This summer has underlined his physical limits. He will rest up now to prepare for the NBA season, when it comes. The defense of the title will take top priority.

There is no urgent rush to confirm or reject Bauermann’s prediction. Germany, already grateful, will give him all the time he needs to decide on whether this really was the end of the road.

“I don’t know,” Nowitzki admitted after the game. “I’ll just have to wait and see what the future brings. The fans have been great. I’ve met so many great people over the years. The journalists have been great to me.

“Basketball’s given me a lot of great memories.”

Ones which will live long in the mind in Germany and beyond.