Damian Lillard is using Dirk Nowitzki as a model for how patiently remaining with a single franchise pays off in a way that's different than chasing a title elsewhere.
Nowitzki led the Dallas Mavericks to a title in 2011 after it had looked as though their period of contention had closed. Nowitzki retired at the end of the 18-19 season after 21 seasons with the Mavericks.
"He just stayed with it," Lillard said. "I respect what Dirk did. Like, I see that and I'm like, 'It'll be worth it. I know it was worth it for him,' you know what I'm saying? Like, he'll be forever, ever, ever respected in Dallas and in the league. So that's like what I see from myself."
Lillard signed a four-year, $96 million contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers this past offseason.
"They allow me to be like the best version of myself as a player," Lillard says of the Blazers. "They support me in the stuff that I do off the court. So why am I looking for a different situation?"