Dirk Nowitzki disagrees on tanking: 'You don't want culture of quitting'

Dirk Nowitzki, who's in his 20th season with the Mavericks, believes tanking set a bad precedent for the future of the franchise.

Kahron Spearman

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki disagrees with owner Mark Cuban's opinion that tanking is the team's best option for the balance of the season, to get better draft lottery odds.

"You don't really want a culture here that's just giving up and quitting and not playing hard," Nowitzki told reporters after Monday's 109-103 win over the Indiana Pacers. "I think it just sets the wrong tone for the future."

I think it's important for our young guys to learn how to compete and to compete all the time, play hard. You play your minutes hard. That's the only way to get better. That's the only way to play in this league, and whatever happens after the season, we'll just go from there. But for now, you play your minutes hard and you play to win.

It's important to note that this the last year of the draft lottery's current format, with odds for the teams with the three worst records this season: 25, 19.9 and 15.6 percent, in descending order. Next year, the odds will be leveled off with the teams where the three worst records will each have 14 percent odds of winning the lottery, with the rest in similar descending order.