Mark Cuban 'Not Worried' About Dirk Nowitzki Opting Out
Cuban is hoping that his brotherly relationship with his players and relentless desire to bring Dallas an NBA title will encourage Dirk Nowitzki to stay with the Mavericks. Nowitzki has a $21 million player option for the 2010-11 season that Cuban would prefer he accept. If not, Nowitzki will be an unrestricted free agent and part of the elite class that will include LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Cuban has signed Jason Kidd to a three-year deal, traded for Shawn Marion and continues to chase available free agents instead of rebuilding. All of that is a play to convince Nowitzki to stay.
"I've got a good relationship with Dirk," he said Thursday. "I'm not worried about it one way or another. You try to rebuild while you're winning. You try to add a young piece here and a young piece there and see what happens. We've been doing this for nine years, 10 years now and every couple of years everybody say well its time to rebuild and we don't, so we'll see."
There has been major questions about the three-year, $25 million deal signed by Kidd, who will be 39 by the time the deal ends. Many NBA pundits said there was no other club interested in signing Kidd to a three-year deal. Cuban said those types of long-term deals for veterans are customary.
"That's just part of the drill. You don't expect him to play at the same level all three years," he said. "You hope so, but at the same time, that's just the way NBA contracts work. It gives us a lot of flexibility. But Jason's a special athlete. And we have a young point guard so a lot of times you can add value beyond on the court."
Yet, there is a level of excitement in Cuban, even more than usual. His city is hosting the 2010 All-Star Game at the new Cowboys Stadium, which promises to be the biggest Texas spectacle since "Who shot J.R?"
And Cuban said he's excited about working with one-time adversary NBA Commissioner David Stern on the All-Star project. Stern has fined Cuban on several occasions for his antics regarding officials.
"I always work with commissioner Stern, we get along great," Cuban said with wry smile. "People think we don't get along. There's just times when he has to fine me and there's times I have to yell back. Other than that, we get along great.
"Oh boy it's going to be an event. Every All-Star Game is always a special week but you know everything's bigger in Texas and we're going to try to do it up. We've got a lot of great events planned, the traditional things and it will be the world's biggest ever basketball/all-star game at Cowboys Stadium, so we're definitely going to tear it up."