Video: Dirk's State Of The Mavs Address
Let's address Dirk Nowitzki's attempts at feigning ignorance regarding the Dallas Mavericks' intentions going into this season and going into the future. Because while some fans truly are ignorant and while some media members are, too ...
Dirk knows EXACTLY what this club is attempting to do. Always has.
It slipped out of his mouth on Sunday and went undetected by the reportorial throng, most of us too busy with thoughts of Tyson and Deron to understand the space between the lines.
Dirk mentioned the club's ability to use cap space "in the next two years.'' Not just THIS SUMMER and not just on a single "big fish.''
Dirk understands that there are no guarantees about this summer. He understands that if Deron Williams opts to not sign with Dallas when free agency opens, that the Mavs will shift to "Plan B, Plan C, Plan D ... or keeping our powder dry,'' as GM Donnie Nelson said moment before (and the frothing-at-the-mouth media didn't catch that, either.)
When my colleagues quote Mark Cuban as saying he "doesn't have a plan,'' and they make it sound like he's a rudderless ship, they are being obstuse.
Truth: They don't have "a plan.'' They have a multitude of them, as they must.
Plan A, the "big fish,'' is DFW product Deron Williams, available for courting starting July 1. Dirk is a bad actor as he first pretends to know precious little about such matters ...
"I don't know what Mark and Donnie want to do or want to go after,'' Dirk says. "I heard Mark say yesterday that he doesn't really have a plan. We'll just have to wait and see, but usually I think that's the goal, right? You have cap space so you can actually sign somebody decent.''
But then Nowitzki, one of the few Mavs locked into being here in the future, let down his guard and quit playing dumb jock. He truly wishes center Tyson Chandler could have stayed but he fully understands why Cuban made that decision to allow TY to leave.
He fully understands that Deron is the prize, saying, "He's a great dude and he's from here, so I think it would be a great fit, but hey, that's not my decision."
Nowitzki even chipped in with his knowledge of the fact that Deron likes the Texas Rangers, hoping that might have some influence.
In the last two days, Dirk's noted Dallas' need for "two guys who can create shots'' and a "mobile center.'' He's also endorsed the return of coach Rick Carlisle ("a preparation freak'') and Jason Kidd ("a fierce competitor.'')
Does this sound like a guy who is uninvolved in the franchise's decision-making?
Watch his State of the Mavs Address here ...
Dirk says he believes with the "two more years (on my contract), I still think I can play great basketball'' but that he's fine with a co-star job, too. "Hey, if that's the case, I'd love to hand over the keys."
And he clearly doesn't want to spend the rest of his career mired in mediocrity.
"Concerned? Yeah, we need to get better. That's my only concern," Nowitzki says. "The Mavericks, usually we pride ourselves over the last decade not to play for the seventh seed or the eighth seed or just to make it into the playoffs. Our goal was always to be obviously one of the top four in the West, get home court and make a deep run. That was always our goal. It's not just making it into the playoffs."
"The great thing about Dirk is he a greater person than a player,'' coach Rick Carlisle says, "He will take any role that is right for this franchise."
Good. The role of player-as-advisor and player-as-recruiter is needed. The role of "dumb jock,'' though, does not become him.
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