Nowitzki ready to defend NBA title

Nowitzki ready to defend NBA title

Credit: AP Photo

Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki , of Germany, speaks to reporters during a media availability at the teams basketball practice facility in Dallas, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 8 at 10:59 PM

DALLAS - Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki checked in at the American Airlines Center, one day before the start of training camp.

He says he has faith in team management that they will do the right thing when it comes to filling their roster with free agents.
 
"The one thing about Cuban, he always tries some stuff, we all know that," Nowitzki said. "He finds ways to get around the rules of the [Collective Bargaining Agreement] so we'll have to wait and see what happens."
 
Nowitzki has seen and read the headlines that say his teammate, center Tyson Chandler, expects to leave.
 
"Yeah, it's a tough one," Nowitzki said. "We obviously would hate to see him go somewhere else, but a different uniform on. He's meant so much to our team. That would be really sad if he goes somewhere else but I think we all know, it's all about business."
 
Nowitzki, who signed for less money during the off-season last year, was asked if he would take less money for situations like this, something Chandler could do if he was determined to keep the Mavericks together. Nowitzki signed for $16 million below the maximum.
 
"Yeah, I guess I didn't take less enough," he said with a smile. "I still got a decent deal out of it, so maybe it wasn't enough cut back."
 
Over 13 seasons, Nowitzki has now played 1,117 games in a Mavericks uniform and has scored more than 22,792 points.

He can't last forever, so how long does he expect to play?
 
"I don't know, the good thing is that I’m a jump shooter with zero athleticism so I could probably still shoot until I’m 60," Nowitzki said.
 
The problem for a 60 year old, of course, is trying to get up and down the court.
 
Nowitzki has done and seen a lot of things since the Mavericks won the NBA Championship, but there is one thing he didn't do.
 
While a little off key, Nowitzki loved to sing "We are the Champions" during the championship celebrations.

When asked if he had time to take singing lessons during his time off, Nowitzki said, "I sang it more and more but instead of getting better, I got worse. I don't know what's going on there."

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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