Quantcast

Mark Cuban to Dirk Nowitzki: I’m not trading you, you’re going through this s*** with me

The Dallas Mavericks are off to a rough 15-23 start to the season, and at the moment they look like a team that could be destined for the playoff bubble. Two years removed from an NBA championship, Dallas has lost some key players like Jason Kidd and Jason Terry and is dealing with an aging and oft-injured Dirk Nowitzki.

Some feel that the logical thing for Mark Cuban to do would be to start rebuilding, and Dirk would be a valuable trade piece should he decide to go that route. While Cuban acknowledged that there’s close to a “one hundred percent chance” he will make a move before the trade deadline, he said there is no way he’s trading Nowitzki.

“No one’s panicking,” Cuban told the Dallas Morning News. “We’re going to be opportunistic through the trade deadline. We’re not going to trade Dirk. I told Dirk we’re not going to trade Dirk. I told Dirk if I’m going through this [expletive], you’re going through it with me. He actually appreciated it.”

Generally speaking, comments like the ones Cuban made about Dirk would mean nothing. Owners say stuff like that all the time to squash trade rumors and wind up dealing their stars anyway, but I doubt that will be the case in Dallas. Cuban and Nowitzki have always had a genuinely close relationship, and I’d be shocked if Cuban wasn’t open and honest about Dirk’s future with the team. Not to mention, he still thinks his team can contend with him.

“I’m as confident as I can be,” Cuban said. “We didn’t go into this just to be middling. If you look at every team that’s any good now, pick a team. Other than the Spurs, every single one of them had to take a huge step backward.”

With 44 games remaining, there’s no reason to believe the Mavericks can’t turn things around and charge into the postseason. And once the playoffs begin, anything can happen.

Dirk Nowitzki may want to be traded if Mavs aren’t competitive

dirk nowitzkiDirk Nowitzki is 34 years old and nearing the end of his NBA career. He has made 11 straight All-Star Games and finally won the elusive NBA title two seasons ago. But the Dallas Mavericks decided to break up their title team because of changes to the league’s collective bargaining agreement and take a gamble that they would land some big-time free agents the next summer.

The Mavericks most notably lost former Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler after the title. They let J.J. Barea, Caron Butler, and DeShawn Stevenson go, too. Former Sixth Man of the Year Jason Terry left over the summer, as did Jason Kidd. The Mavericks missed out on Dwight Howard and Deron Williams — both of whom they hoped to land — and instead ended up with guys like O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison, Elton Brand, and Chris Kaman.

The Mavs are now 13-21, their plan doesn’t seem to be working, and Dirk is questioning the franchise’s long-term plan and direction.

“It’s going to be tough now,” Nowitzki said after the team’s loss to the Hornets Sunday, per ESPN Dallas. “I always liked to think you don’t want to build your franchise on hope.

“We hoped for Deron last year. We hoped for Dwight. Why would he leave the Lakers? To me, it makes no sense. He’s in a great situation. Why would CP3 leave? (The Los Angeles Clippers are) the best team in the league probably right now. They’re probably the deepest team. So are you going to hope that we get something?

“Maybe Cuban has something up his sleeve. Maybe you have to take a chance on a bad contract to get him in here and make something happen. I mean, I don’t know. That’s something we’ll have to see this summer. We’re going to play out this season. I’m going to get better and better, hopefully from game to game, so I can actually close out some of these games. And then we’ll see what happens.”

The veteran forward even wondered aloud if the team should consider trading him.

“Either you break the whole thing up and trade me or you get a bunch of one-year deals and try to be a player next summer. That’s the decision we made, so now we’ve got to fight through it.

“The only reason I would leave — or would have left — is if we wouldn’t have won the championship and I would have been like a Karl Malone and (Gary) Payton going to join Kobe and Shaq in L.A. like they did at the end,” Nowitzki said. “But now I’ve got a ring and obviously want to finish my career here. But I also want to be competitive.”

Dirk is in the third season of a four-year, $80 million contract with the team that includes a no-trade clause. It sounds like he may be willing to waive the clause if things don’t improve in Dallas.

Photo credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

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.