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Nowitzki: Little Interest in Free Agency

Dec 11, 2009 – 11:47 PM
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Tim Povtak

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MIAMI -- While LeBron James in Cleveland, Chris Bosh in Toronto and even Dwyane Wade in Miami have enjoyed flirting with possibilities that free agency could bring this summer, Dirk Nowitzki sounds more anchored to his current team than any of the other stars.

Nowitzki, the eight-time All-Star in Dallas, can opt out of the final year of his contract, just like the other three may do. Yet the thought of changing teams to chase an NBA title doesn't sound so appealing to him.

"I've always said it wouldn't feel right if I left the Mavericks,'' Nowitzki told FanHouse after his Mavericks crushed the Heat in Miami 106-93 on Friday night. "I've played my heart out in Dallas for 12 years, so going somewhere else doesn't sound good to me. I'm not even sure how a championship would feel somewhere else. I know what it would feel like to do it in Dallas.''

Nowitzki has spent his entire career with the Mavericks. He was traded there on draft night in 1998. His Mavs reached the NBA Finals in 2006, but they lost to the Miami Heat after leading the series 2-0. He said earlier in the day that winning a title is the only thing that would make his career complete.

Nowitzki is scheduled to make $21.5 million next season, but opting out this summer would allow him to sign another long-term contract before the league's collective bargaining agreement expires in the summer of 2011. The new CBA is expected to be more restrictive toward player salaries.

"In this business, you know how it is, but I hadn't planned on opting out,'' he said. "As far as I'm concerned, I want to finish my career in Dallas. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.''
Filed under: Sports