Dirk Nowitzki: Mavericks aren’t as smart on the court without Jason Kidd

Dirk Nowitzki appeared in his first game of the season for the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs, but the result was the same one Dallas has seen for much of the year. Nowitzki’s absence through the first 27 games of the season certainly made life more difficult for the 12-16 Mavs, but the 11-time All-Star said it is the absence of Jason Kidd that has really hurt the team.

“Our basketball IQ obviously went down a little bit with J-Kidd leaving,” Nowitzki said according to ESPNDallas.com. “I think that’s pretty obvious. We don’t make the right play on defense. I don’t think that’s selfishness. Maybe we don’t react quick enough or maybe it’s not natural enough to the guys yet, all the calls, the switching of coverages. You’ve got to pay attention; you’ve got to be smart out there. …

“Offensively, our decision-making has been brutal. We’re averaging 20 (turnovers) a night. It’s impossible to win, especially on the road.”

The Mavericks allowed a season-high 129 points to the Spurs on Sunday, meaning they were pretty much incapable of stopping everything and anything San Antonio threw their way. Dirk should certainly help alleviate some of the team’s struggles when he gets back into the swing of things, but losing a veteran point guard like Kidd is never easy. Dallas was hoping Derek Fisher would help fill the void left by the departure of Kidd, but that didn’t work out.

If the Mavericks are going to contend in the Western Conference this year, they’ll need someone to emerge as their new floor general.

Dirk Nowitzki on NBA flopping rule: ‘I think it’s a bunch of crap’

dirk nowitzkiIt would be tough to argue that the new flopping rule the NBA has put into place for the upcoming season won’t benefit the game in some way. Any type of fine is going to discourage players from doing something on some level, so it certainly can’t make the situation any worse. Flopping has become a league-wide epidemic, and those who are found guilty of it from now on will be fined up to $30,000.

Dirk Nowtizki does not think this will work.

“I never looked at myself as a big flopper,” Nowitzki said Thursday according to the Dallas Morning News. “If you play me physical then, obviously, I’ve got to sell the call and get to the (free throw) line. That’s just part of the game. We’ll have to see how they enforce that.

“I think it’s a bunch of crap to be honest with you. Are they going to come back after a game and fine you for flopping? That’s tough to do to me.”

Yes, that’s exactly what they’re going to do. They do it with upgrading or downgrading flagrant fouls, so flopping will be no different. While I don’t agree with Dirk that it will be difficult to go back and review the tapes to enforce the rule, I do agree that it may not be effective.

As I mentioned before, what’s $30,000 to some of these players? If $30,000 is what it takes to put your team at the foul line and give them a chance to win with 10 seconds left in the game, I’m sure most players are willing to pay it.

Photo credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

Dirk Nowitzki catches Rick Carlisle sleeping in hilarious picture

Got heeem!

The Mavericks arrived in Germany on Thursday for a few days of fun before their exhibition game on Saturday, and some members of the team were more affected by the long day of traveling than others. Germany native Dirk Nowitzki was able to catch coach Rick Carlisle sleeping on the bus with his mouth wide open, and he shared the picture on Twitter.

I’m not sure how this is going to go over with Carlisle, but he should consider himself lucky — it could have been worse.

Photo via Dirk Nowitzki/Twitter

Dirk Nowitzki was frustrated Jason Kidd led on Mavericks

After spending four and a half seasons as teammates with Jason Kidd on the Mavericks and winning an NBA championship together, Dirk Nowitzki was understandably upset that Kidd chose to sign with the Knicks in free agency. He specifically says it was the surprising nature of Kidd’s decision that frustrated him.

“He didn’t call me,” Nowitzki said, per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “I had no reception in Africa where I was. So I only checked my phone once a day. On the day before, he said he was coming, and I think that’s what Mark (Cuban) was a little upset about. He basically said he’s coming back and a day later said he wasn’t coming. It was frustrating. I told him we’d love to have him back and love to have him retire here, but he made a decision he felt was best for his family. I respected that and we move forward. I wish him luck.”

Despite being frustrated and surprised by Kidd’s decision, Dirk is at least handling things in a mature matter. Team owner Mark Cuban on the other hand admitted he was “pissed” at Kidd, and said he wouldn’t want to retire the point guard’s jersey as a result.

We can never get mad at a player for choosing one team over another in free agency, but it’s understandable why Dallas was upset with Kidd. He appeared to lead them on before choosing another team. It seems like karma is already catching up with him anyhow.

Tyson Chandler ‘feels sorry’ for Dirk Nowitzki

To see what not to do after winning an NBA title, take a look at the Dallas Mavericks. After besting the hated Heat in the 2011 Finals, the Mavs gutted their roster enough to have room to some acquire big-name free agents this summer, presumably Deron Williams and Dwight Howard, while still remaining competitive during the previous season.

Fast forward to the present: the Mavs had an underwhelming season exacerbated by that Lamar Odom debacle and capped by a first-round exit in the playoffs; Williams decided to re-up with the Nets after having the Mavs as one of his two finalists; Howard remains on the Magic with no trade to Dallas in sight; and now Dallas lost starting point guard Jason Kidd to the Knicks. Mark Cuban didn’t go all-in on black only to have it land on red. It’s worse than that — it landed on green.

It’s all left Tyson Chandler, who was sacrificed by the Mavs before last season, feeling “sorry” for his former teammate Dirk Nowitzki.

“I am a little bit stunned, but I kind of felt like it was going to be that, honestly,” Chandler said, according to ESPN Dallas. “If they weren’t able to land Deron Williams or Dwight [Howard], I knew there would be trouble down the road. I feel sorry for Dirk; really for Dirk and the coaching staff. You go from winning a championship to kind of it seems like you’re almost in a rebuilding stage. Especially for Dirk at this point in his career, I really feel bad for him.”

Nowtizki really is the biggest loser in Cuban’s gamble. He’s not getting any younger, and he’s the only player left to lead a team in a state of total disarray. How is that fair? Welp, there’s only one thing left for a man in his position to do: ask to be traded to the Lakers.

Charles Barkley again admits to illegally recruiting Dirk Nowitzki to Auburn (Video)

We all know that illegal recruiting is commonplace in the world of collegiate athletics, but most people prefer not to talk about it. Charles Barkley enjoys talking about everything. At a celebrity softball game over the weekend, Barkley was telling a story in the locker room while his teammates listened attentively and cameras captured the action. Sir Charles spoke about the time he first met Dirk Nowitzki, which was during a Team USA exhibition game against Germany back in 1997. Dirk was only 19 at the time, but he managed to torch Team USA for 42 points and 17 rebounds with Scottie Pippen guarding him the majority of the game.

Needless to say, Barkley was impressed — so impressed that he claims he committed a series of recruiting violations to try to convince Dirk to attend Auburn.

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Mike Napoli wins $100 from Dirk Nowitzki for Italy’s Euro 2012 win over Germany

If Twitter were never invented, Mike Napoli may be out of $100 today. Fortunately it was, which means rivalries and trash talking across professional sports can exist and we have yet another medium by which to gamble. What started out as friendly smack talk on Twitter earlier this week between Napoli and Dirk Nowitzki turned into Dirk owing Napoli $100 after Italy beat Germany in the semifinals of Euro 2012 on Thursday afternoon.

Before the match, Napoli tweeted at Dirk that the Italians were “taking your Germans down today.” Italy went up 2-0 early in the match, and here are some of the tweets that followed between the two — a few of which include a sports psychology consultant (@think2win). Thanks to the Dallas Morning News for pointing out the exchange.

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