Well-Rested Dirk Nowitzki 'Ready to Go'
With that in mind, the Dallas Mavericks star forward said he likely will miss Saturday's outdoor game in Indian Wells, Calif., against Phoenix.
"It looks like it,'' Nowitzki said after his team's 88-83 preseason win Thursday night over Chicago. "Outdoors, I wasn't really great outdoors growing up, if you depend on a jump shot a lot. If it's a windy night, I might as well stay home. So I think that's a good one to pass.''
There was no wind blowing inside American Airlines Center when the Mavericks faced the Bulls. That helped Nowitzki score 30 points and grab 10 rebounds in 35 minutes.
Nowitzki, 32, is no longer a youngster, so it's hardly surprising when he gets rest in the preseason. He's coming off a summer in which he played a lot less basketball than during previous offseasons.
"I feel good,'' Nowitzki said. "I took even more time off than I did last summer. I'm looking forward to basically starting the season. I did a lot of cardio so I don't think the wind is going to be a problem. So I will be ready (for the start of the season). Personally, I'm ready to go.''
Nowitzki said he played a lot of tennis during the summer, and Saturday's game will be played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. But it looks as if the wrong court will be put down to get Nowitzki to play.
As for basketball, Nowitzki is entering his 13th season in the NBA. He remains hopeful the Mavericks, still trying to recover from their historic collapse in the 2006 NBA Finals against Miami, when they were on the verge of taking a 3-0 series lead but lost 4-2, can finally win a title. Once again, Nowitzki has a picture of the Larry O'Brien Trophy in his locker to serve as his motivation.
"That's been there for a while,'' said Nowitzki, who signed a four-year contract last summer after becoming a free agent. "It's going to basically stay there hopefully for the next four years. Hopefully, I'll get one before then, and I'll take it down. Or I'll leave it up until I get a second one. That's really what it's all about now. I don't think I personally have to prove or achieve anything (other than) just winning the ring. So that's what I'm working on.
"You got to take every year like it's your last and approach it that way. And we'll see what happens when my career is over. And we'll see whether I've got (a championship) or not.''
If not, there's always more tennis he can play.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson