Is Dirk Growing Impatient With Mavs’ Plan?

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HANGTIME SOUTHWEST – Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki started his first game of the season on Saturday night, but it’s how poorly his team finished a 99-96 overtime home loss to the last-place New Orleans Hornets that had him frustrated and questioning the direction of the franchise that struck out last summer in its bid to pair him with All-Star point guard Deron Williams.

With nine new players around him, and most on one-year contracts, Nowitzki is the centerpiece of a team adrift. Dallas is tied with Sacramento at 13-21 for 12th in the West, 5 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot.

“We knew that coming in, that eight or nine new guys on one-year deals is not really an ideal situation, but what else is there to do?” Nowitzki said to ESPNDallas.com following Saturday’s loss. “So 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.”

Nowitzki, who has a no-trade clause in his contract that expires after the 2013-14 season, has consistently said he wants to finish his now 15-year career in Dallas. Yet twice during his seven-game return from arthroscopic knee surgery in October, in which Dallas is just 1-6, he has brought up the possibility of a trade down the road as he analyzes the team’s prospects for success in coming seasons.

“It’s going to be tough now. I always liked to think you don’t want to build your franchise on hope,” Nowitzki said. “We hoped for Deron last year. We hoped for Dwight [Howard]. 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 [owner Mark] 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 New Orleans loss served as another dagger that has put the franchise’s record streak of 12 consecutive playoff appearances on the brink. A reporter asking Nowitzki a question started it by saying that the season is still young. Nowitzki interrupted and said, “Is it?”

Clearly he senses it slipping away — and maybe more than just this season. After last season’s first-round sweep out of the playoffs, the first of Nowitzki’s career (by the Oklahoma City Thunder), Nowitzki said the team had taken a clear step back after Cuban chose to not re-sign key pieces of the 2011 title team in order to maximize future cap space.

Still, Nowitzki has consistently backed Cuban’s plan publicly, and the notion that Cuban and Nowitzki would ultimately agree to part ways remains an unlikely scenario.

“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 to join Kobe [Bryant] and Shaq [O’Neal] in L.A. like they did at the end,” Nowitzki told ESPNDallas.com. “But now I’ve got a ring and obviously want to finish my career here. But I also want to be competitive.”

Dallas has lived on the extreme with and without Nowitzki this season. They are 0-7 in overtime games but have also been blown out by 19 or more points nine times, three times with Nowitzki playing.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said Saturday’s loss — in which the Mavs blew an 11-point third-quarter lead and were ahead 94-91 with two minutes to play in overtime — felt like hitting rock bottom. But with Nowitzki admittedly still not fully back into game shape, Dallas could be in store for more tough times.

The Mavs begin a three-game road trip at Utah on Monday night, followed by a back-to-back against the Clippers on Wednesday and the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.

“I just think it’s going to take some time. Unfortunately, we don’t really have it since we’re already so far behind the eight spot,” Nowitzki said. “But sometimes you have to be together in stressful situations to see how people react to certain things. Unfortunately, we’ve got to adjust on the fly here in big games and hopefully pull some out.”

60 Comments

  1. corey says:

    Lin, Harden, Parsons, Nowitzki, Asik….

  2. charles says:

    Go to New York, play next to Chandler, win another championship :).

  3. June says:

    It’s sad when you hear this comment from the only guy in the team to get the ring and yet he’s complaining when all he did was sit because of injury before the season even started.

  4. R M says:

    At the beginning of the year, I thought it would be fun to see Garnett and Nowitzki play alongside each other. Probably wouldn’t be a good move for the C’s long-term, but that would be a fun lineup to watch.

    • artifex says:

      Since I love Nowitzki and thus root for the Mavs but Boston been my local team (now up in France), so my other favorite, that would be awesome. Plus, Dirk bein re-united with JET!
      I know, wont happen – even if they’d like, C’s can’t take up Dirks big contract (if they don’t give up KG or Pierce, never will!!).
      But it’s so fun to think it over. Maybe after 2014 at a vets minimum, think about Dirk and JET coming from the bench, ha, that’s be something.

  5. Lmao-i hear u miamishort-The Truth Pierce held out for ten years w/ Celts b4 getting a ring-true warrior-i don’t think dirk’s going anywhere either-guess we’ll see.
    GREENALLDAY18BANNER18′sACOMIN”13

    • artifex says:

      That’d be great of course but I’m not sure. They surely can get some pepper into the playoffs and give some surprise but to win it all…
      But I can envision that Rondo will get another ring some day!

  6. MiamiSHORTSEASONchump says:

    No trade will happen in Dirks career.. he ain’t like the so called king who looks for easy way out.. in short. QUITNESS.. Dirk is a real warrior.. MAVS NATION will ride with Dirk through ups and downs.. and before Dirk will retire..pretty sure he’ll have another Ring..

  7. Jiro says:

    The Dallas are done.

    • artifex says:

      Not forever, but this crew is not the one to win big at the moment.
      But I wouldn’t like them all to be just mixed up again, that’s not helping, but they need consistency!
      Keep a core and add to that, Collison seems ok, Mayo I don’t know, he started big but is so inconsistent lately…
      One put it just right: You can put your future on Draft, Trade or Free-agent. They gotta get more miserable (or get unexpectedly fortune) to get someone from Draft – they’re not that bad – yet.
      They bet on free-agents and lost. Now, trade’s gonna be difficult too.
      I once read thet Utah might have difficulty to maintain Jefferson AND Millsap. One of those would be a good catch, since I don’t like any ideas of Cousins or Gortat that have been around here…

  8. Jumppong says:

    It’s too Early to Celebrate Warriors Fans.. Celebrate if they can win a Championship This Year. stop dreaming like a kid who said Dirk, your spot in the playoffs belongs now to the Golden State Warriors so what??? Get a ring First stop acting like a kid. Warriors is only a playoff team not a contender for now.. don’t act like a kid. PEACE

    • artifex says:

      Well, depends on your background.
      Though not a fan I’m happy for the Warriors, since they hadn’t had much of success yet to celebrate (except that damn 1st round in 2007, don’t blame it on you but the Mavs for losing that). So, why shouldn’t they celebrate?
      If you are able to exceed your previous standards you are right to celebrate!

  9. swish41# says:

    The problem now with the mavs is Carlisle. I don’t why he keep on letting Mayo and Carter shoot the ball during crunch time. They are chokers, Carter is so boastful and always making Hail Mary 3-point shots and Mayo is so careless and could not even nail a 7 foot jumper. Carlisle needs Kaman, Dirk and Marion playing together during last minutes of the game. Collison is a good point guard, but could not create a shot for Dirk and could not create post moves for Kaman. I think the best line during crunch time should be Kaman for 5, Dirk for 4, Marion for 3, Da. Jones for 2 and Beaubois for 1.

    Best way for Dirk is to change a team. Dallas front-desk, coaching staff and owner are ridiculous. Dirk could join the Chicago Bulls for another trophy contention.

    Cuban should be charged for this MESS.

    • artifex says:

      I feel hard to judge on Carlisle since he is a very respected coach – not only since his success with the Mavs.
      But I agree that I don’t know why Mayo keeps going every late game and busting it. He missed his final 3 hoops agains NO!
      Though that has been Mavs strength. Nowitzki getting into the paint, being a threat there and then having others open at the 3, but thay had Kidd, JET and Peja – 3 of 6 best all time!!
      I’m disappointed, Mayo started really good that season and then he made those crunch time shots. I still believe he will get back on track once and needs to keep shooting, but why keep trying that in crunch time?

      Also disappointed of Roddy, liked him in his rookie season, much enery, but he simply didn;t improve much, though with Kidd as a teacher, whom better to have? I think Collison would use that advantage better.

      Still, spes non fallit! Keep goin’ MAVS

  10. GDF says:

    The Mavs wont make playoffs but they’ve set themselves up for the market as well as the 13′ draft so there is reason to be hopeful. I hope the Mavs reel in some players this summer and retain OJ.

  11. Flying Raijin_41 says:

    there is a no-trade clause in dirk’s contract maybe if he finish his contract next season…hopefully it’s good for both dirk and the mavericks to part ways in good terms…it’s time to do what steve nash and the suns did….

  12. Abdel says:

    I think Dirk could be traded for both Paul G. & Dweight H . But never for single player. Or they could go to Phx and get Scola and Drogec

  13. chev says:

    dirk! go to the lakers, & get re-united with nash! what a happy ending! ))

  14. JELLYBEAN says:

    ILL take DERK over GASOL / L.A BOUND ????? HOLLA …

  15. Rocky says:

    Imagine a Pau and Dirk Trade.
    Hmm… this might help, better perimeter shooter for lakers but he is old.
    Again an extremely old team.
    But Mavs could benefit because Mavs could use him in the block, unlike the lakers.
    Somewhat a win-win situation.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Pay attention. Dallas already has 2 similar-style PFs — Elton Brand and Chris Kaman. Adding Gasol would make no sense.

  16. Druiddribbles says:

    Come to Boston Dirk. It’ll be ReDirkulous! Heading to Bamberg for a visit. Would be nice to celebrate with a Rauchbier.

  17. Marky says:

    three team trade.. Dirk to Lakers, Pau to NY, Stat to Dallas…and throw in some

  18. Aaron says:

    I see a Lakers trade coming up.. Dirk for Gasol. Done!

  19. Gerald says:

    Dirk is a great player. He deserve to have a great team and great teammates.

  20. Cliff Paul says:

    Bring back Detlef Schrempf and now we are talking championship ! or join the heat ! AgAIN another typical heat comment !

    • dattebayo says:

      Every time I read that name I have that Bill Walton imitation from Frank Caliendo in my mind: “Has their ever been a player better than Detlef Schrempf? …” :D

  21. KingKong says:

    If Dirk leaves i’ll demand a trade.Time to leave the Mavs.Lol

  22. KB24 says:

    Dirk to lakers and Gasol to mavs! !!! sound good yeah

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Uh, no. Dallas already has 2 similar power forwards in Kaman and Brand. Adding Gasol would make no sense.

  23. Lalith says:

    Dirk i feel your pain OKC is ready to join you…… If you come OKC will win the the next 3 champs

  24. Mav says:

    Amare for Nowitzki

    • artifex says:

      that sounds intreguing – at least for Mavs fans and for Nowitzki fans (at least those who think he needs anorther run at a championship). Me for myself – as it seems for him – am OK with him making that 2011 wonder run.

  25. Headman says:

    If Dirk leaves I leave

  26. Mavsfan says:

    Dirk has not been playing well at all. Collison is the saving grace.

  27. Jose Carlos says:

    I BELIEVE THERE’S A LOT OF PEOPLE SEEING AND THINKING THAT YOUR TEAM ISN’T THAT ONE COMPLETELY FULL OF NICE PLAYERS WAITING TO BE CALLED TO GET IN THE COURT. YOU CAN’T DO THE WORK ALONE! IF NOBODY HELPS YOU THE TEAM’S PRODUCTION WONT BE THE SAME. CUBAN CAN FORGET ABOUT THE POST-SEASON IF HE MADE THOSE MOVES BREAKING THAT CHAMPIONS. JASON KIDD,TYSON CHANDLER,JJ BAREA AND MANY OTHER POINTS PRODUCERS AS JASON TERRY. SORRY FOR YOU BUT MARK MADE A BAD MOVE AND THOSE ARE THE CONCLUSIONS AND THE CONSEQUENCES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. theholyspectator says:

    mavs are done, cherish that 2010-2011 trophy dirk…its the first and last one youll ever get…unless you somehow get out of that contract

  29. dirk45 says:

    It’s the same as it was with Nash. Sometimes you’re too good to help a team. As Mark Cuban said, when Dirk retires he wants a really BAD team to get high draft picks. The dream next summer would be a top 3 draft pick (a center maybe?) by amazing lottery luck and CP3 who wants to join Dirk, Matrix, Mayo, Collison as a backup PG. With the current bench everything would be possible (who knew JJ Barea before 2011?). Maybe put even Howard in the mix. Cuban would probably spend luxury tax if he knew it was for a season only.
    But we all know this probably won’t happen. And suddenly the Mavs (like this season) are too bad to attract stars (I wonder if Williams would do the same decision now) and too good to get top lottery picks. And Dirk doesn’t allow for much cap flexibility either.

    Nash went to Lalaland. I hope Dirk finds a better option.

  30. SteveNashMV3! says:

    You know, you can always leave that team and join the Lakers, get reunited with your good ol’ friend Steve Nash :)

  31. dirk your my idol since you join the dallas its about lossing the key player i buy a lot of championship item for our victory its about cuban why the hell he let chandler and barea leave?and other player like stevenson and before his spending a lot of money to a crop player why?

  32. LA FAKER!!! says:

    Go Leave the Mavs and come join the HEAT!! baby!!!

    • Mino says:

      hahahahahaha.

      wait.

      hahahahahaha.

    • Peter says:

      Such a typicaly moronic ‘heat fan’ response

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Or Dallas should just sign Dwight Howard for next season.

      I still think that is a good — if not, great — fit for Howard.

      He can be a #1 or maybe #2 option again. He and Dirk would be a nice 1-2 punch combination.

      Either that or Howard better join an “elite” team.

      Lakers look like they’re not going to make the playoffs next year, either.

  33. prokorov says:

    the mavs have not miss the playoffs in a long time, they might miss it this year

  34. james says:

    trade k love for dirk

  35. WhereAmazingHappens says:

    Dirk, your spot in the playoffs belongs now to the Golden State Warriors :)

      • James says:

        Dirk joins the Lakers old team. Together you guys can change history and show the NBA that old guys and still get the title. The Spurs been trying to do that but they dont have enough talent. You need a lot more. Everybody gotta realize that they’re old and cant perform like they used to, so two or three “used to be” megastars are not enough. Once you realize that, everybody take a pay cut and squeeze our a title before the leave the NBA.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        @James

        Yah right. Dirk doesn’t want to join the Lakers, probably ever. More than likely, he’s going to retire in Dallas.

        Want to hear kind of a secret???

        No way in heck Dirk wants to join a team that has Kobe Bryant. K. Bryant has already fazed out Howard and Gasol with his selfish ways. Dirk doesn’t want to join that “hit list.”

        The Lakers won’t make the playoffs, just as I predicted … but even I admit … I did not think they’d be this bad.

        :::: DRUM ROLL ::::

        People need to realize that it’s K. Bryant’s FAULT! HE is the freaking problem!!! Get it through your thick skulls, Laker fans!

        When a mediocre player like Bryant overachieves like he is — he becomes a MINUS player to his team.

        Because basketball can be very simple at times (let’s just outscore the other team; let’s just score as much as we can because offense can be “sexier”), what’s happening is the Lakers have no business being in a lot of these games. A lot of their final scores are deceiving. They’re down double-digits practically on a daily basis. A lot of these games are already losses. Bryant barely can still score enough to justify a lot of playing time to pad his inflated scoring stats. They manage to close a lot of those double-digit deficits to single-digits late in certain games. The Lakers try to then just score as many points as they can to encapsulate (hide) how terrible they REALLY are. To, in effect, make it seem like they’re “in” a lot of games when a lot of their games — they’re getting blown out.

        If I can see it, I know some of you can see it.

        And now with Gasol and Howard out (because of “injuries”), they’re going to find they can’t shrink these double-digit deficits anymore. They can’t always rely on teams getting complacent once they get a double-digit lead (which apparently is what happened in a recent game against the Spurs or at least that’s what Manu Ginobili alluded to in that post-game interview).

    • Caramello Frog says:

      Hahahaha too true!!! :D (Im a Warriors fan)

    • Dirk Nowitzki #1 FAN says:

      DIRK IS GARBAGE, he should be doing better, WAY! better, sorry Dirk.

      -Your #1 FAN

    • Dirk Nowitzki #1 FAN says:

      WARRIORS BABY!

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Exactly my thoughts. Similar to that season when the Warriors upset the Mavs in the first round.

      Same kind of thing again. The Warriors taking Dallas’ playoff spot.

      To give Dallas some leniency, Dirk still isn’t at 100% and has missed a lot of games. I was expecting them to retain Delonte West (who is still a good point guard) but that didn’t work out this season. They also didn’t keep Jason Kidd. They released a couple other decent centers as well. They didn’t keep Jason Terry. They did add OJ Mayo (who is having a very good season, for the most part), which I think Memphis may regret not keeping. Yah, Memphis got off to a spectacular start, but they’re gonna miss OJ Mayo coming off that bench, I think. Now, he’s a regular starter and is having an all star type season.

      Adding another good piece like Darren Collison will work out in the long run. Along with other pieces added and whatnot. They can still have a good season now with Dirk back.

      I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs. The West is too deep. The current playoff picture appears to be the future 2013 playoff picture. Those 8 teams are LOCKS. OKC, LAC, SAS, Memphis, GSW, Houston, Denver, Portland. Not necessarily in that order … but those 8 teams are LOCKS. Utah could fight Portland for that spot, but I think Portland is a little better this year. Lillard is a big reason for that. He’s probably the rookie of the year.