Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Mavericks spotlight: Dirk Nowitzki (offseason edition)
Nowitzki finished as the league's seventh-leading scorer in the regular season, averaging right at 25.0 points per game.
DALLAS "Mavs Spotlight" is a series of exclusive one-on-one video interviews conducted by Mavs.com's Earl K. Sneed with various Dallas Mavericks players and coaches. In this edition, Dirk Nowitzki talks about finishing another season without a championship and whether or not he will opt out of his contract for free agency.
Nowitzki made it clear when he addressed the team in September to start training camp. He is all about winning an NBA title at this point in his career.
After the nine-time All-Star and former MVP fell short of that goal with a first-round series loss to San Antonio, thoughts of this season quickly faded away and the attention turned immediately to next year for the 7-footer.
"It's another disappointing season to me," Nowitzki said. "At this stage in my career, losing first, second, or third round is all the same. As long as I don't achieve my goal and my dream, that means it was another disappointing season."
But the season was not completely lost for the star from Germany.
Nowitzki did become the only Mav and the first European-born player to surpass 20,000 points for his career. He also finished as the league's seventh-leading scorer in the regular season, averaging right at 25.0 points per game. That number jumped to 26.7 points in the playoffs against San Antonio, albeit in a series loss.
"That's where the disappointment is. You get a guy who is pure basketball heart. He'd do anything to win any ball game and he wouldn't care how many points he scored," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle explained. "That's what really makes him special, along with the other things (Dallas fans and media members) have seen on a daily basis for over a decade. The shotmaking, the plays, the threes ... All that stuff."
But now the question becomes how much longer will the Dallas faithful get to watch Nowitzki play his home games at the American Airlines Center, as the star contemplates joining the heralded 2010 free agent class.
"He's the cornerstone of the franchise. I'd say there's probably a 98-percent chance of him coming back," Jason Terry said after teaming with Nowitzki for six seasons.
Nowitzki, however, is not rushing to any decision, knowing that he has until July to scratch his brain before hopefully returning to Big D.
"I always said I want to finish my career in Dallas, but I've still got some thinking to do. I never planned on opting out, but I have to keep my options open," the team's all-time leading scorer said.
Hear more of what No. 41 had to say:
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