Leave it to Dirk Nowitzki to understate the heck out of the obvious.

In his first comments about the new contract he signed last month, Nowitzki made it clear that it's a close, give-and-take relationship with owner Mark Cuban that led him to sign a two-year deal worth $5 million this season with a team option for next year.

To say the least, it's a team-friendly deal -- chump change by today's NBA standards.

"Mark and I obviously have a close, close relationship," Nowitzki said from Johannesburg, South Africa, where he is participating in the NBA's Basketball Without Borders program and will play in NBA Africa Game 2017 on Saturday. "Last year, he really, really took care of me as we all know. That was well-documented.

"And it was my time to show again that I love being here. I gave him a little bit of a deal, maybe."

Maybe?

It's true that if you combine last season and the coming season, Nowitzki will have earned $30 million. That's certainly a competitive NBA salary.

But dropping from $25 million to $5 million turned some heads this summer. And, with the team owning the option for 2018-19, Nowitzki said this coming season, his 20th, still might not be his last.

"Really it's signed for two years," he said. "We'll see how the next year goes and obviously we all know I wanted to end my career there and I'm glad we got to that position now."

Nowitzki, 39, has been traveling in Europe and Africa for most of the past month, visiting his family in Germany and his wife's family in Sweden and Kenya. He arrived in South Africa earlier this week and has been taking part in camps and workouts with other NBA players such as Kristaps Porzingis and C.J. McCollum.