Dirk on Grantland: How long will he keep going?

How many more productive seasons does Dirk Nowitzki have left in him?

That was one of the subjects broached during Nowitzki’s wide-ranging, sit-down interview with Grantland.com’s Bill Simmons over the All-Star Weekend. Simmons suggest Nowitzki, a 12-time All-Star and 16-year NBA veteran, could play six or seven more seasons, eventually transitioning into the “Sam Perkins role” as a 7-foot floor-spacer.

“I don’t think the shooting would be the problem,” Nowitzki said, downplaying the idea of him playing well into his 40s. “It’d be the in between, the running back, the showing on the pick-and-roll.”

The 35-year-old Nowitzki has no firm timetable on how much longer he plans to play. He’s been on the record for months with his intention to sign a two- or three-year deal to stay with the Mavericks this summer, but he doesn’t know yet whether he’ll want to still be playing as he approaches his 40th birthday.

“I’ll just see how long it’s still fun, to be quite honest,” Nowitzki said. “If I get up in the morning and say I’ve got to go to work, I’ll retire. I never looked at basketball as work. I always enjoyed it as my hobby. I loved it. Once that love is gone and I’m tired of working out every day and doing all the stuff to get me ready for games, and I’m tired of lifting and conditioning and doing all that other stuff around it and I’d rather stay in bed, then it’s time to go.

“I think I can always shoot 3s. I think I can shoot 3s when I’m 60. But it’s all the other stuff to get you going that’s going to be the problem.”