Mavs' Dad-To-Be Dirk: 'I Belong To This City'
Dirk Nowitzki closed one chapter of his Dallas Mavericks season during Thursday's Exit Interviews with reflections on the club's 41-41 finish, the first time this franchise has failed to make the playoffs in a dozen years.
But more than that, he issued three newsworthy statements.
1: Pushed by media members who almost seem bent on getting Dirk to demonstrate some crack of dissent with the Mavs, Nowitzki responded to questions about someday dumping Dallas by saying, "I belong to this city. That's just the bottom line. I could never see myself playing for another franchise, putting another jersey on. That would be probably the hardest thing I'd have to do in my life.''
Of course, that doesn't mean he wishes to flounder about in continued mediocrity.
"I want to stay here,'' he said, noting that he'd like to sign a two- or three-year deal when his current contract expires in the summer of 2014. "I also want to play at a high level with a good team that we can be proud of and represent this city and this franchise."
2. Dirk plans on being involved in the recruiting of free agents, in watching film of possible acquisitions and on being in the "war room'' at draft time.
"To eat pizza and talk basketball,'' he joked.
Said Nowitzki: "We have a great owner and a great GM in place. We have a great coach in place that coached us to win the championship ... We've got some cap space and we can get some players in here that can help. ... Come on in, we'll see how far we can ride it out."
Part of this change means he'll remain in Dallas for most of the summer rather than traveling the world and returning to Germany for long stretches. Dirk said he's going back to Germany for only a brief time and will return to Texas well in advance of July 1, the opening of free agency.
"It's a big summer," Nowitzki said, adding jokingly that he would "try'' to be a peppy recruiter "but I'm really not the most positive person. I guess that's a German thing."
3. There is another reason for Dirk to remain in Dallas: His wife, Jessica, is expecting the couple's first child this summer.
The Nowitzkis know whether the baby will be a boy or a girl and have a due date. They are choosing to keep that information private.
"Once I come back in October (for the start of 2013 training camp),'' he said, "it (the baby) should be here.''
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