In today’s column, NBA.com’s David Aldridge posted segments from his one-on-one chat with the Mavericks‘ Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki discussed his career, the club’s future, and more in a comprehensive interview. Here’s a look at some of the highlights..
Are you still confident the front office can build a contender again?
I think sometimes you just need to gamble a little bit. You need to take chances. You may have to take a contract that people may say is not a good contract. But the great thing is if you have cap space, you can do that. I think with cap space you can still turn a franchise around pretty quick. So, yeah, we’re just gonna go for it this summer and see what’s out there in free agency. If not, maybe sign and trade, or trades. We just have to wait and see. So what we have to do now is just let it all hang out in the last three weeks or so, see if we make the push to the playoffs, and if not, we’ll see what we’ve got going through the Draft, and then July will be a big month for us.
Are you a recruiter now?
I’m obviously gonna be here most of the summer. If they need me to go somewhere or call somebody, I’ll obviously be more than happy to. This is my home. Once you’ve won it all, you want that feeling again. You don’t want to be out of the playoffs looking in. We’d love to have that feeling again. The city was so excited. The franchise was. We’d love to at least play for that again. It’s a big summer for us, and anything I can do, I’ll be here.
How hard is [fighting for a playoff spot] for you?
It’s another challenge for me. We had some years in those playoffs when we weren’t top four (in the West), from four to eight. That already felt like that wasn’t a great year for us. So we obviously are used to high standards around here, the franchise and the city is disappointed in that way a little bit, with us (normally) winning 50 games every year and being right up there and having home court usually in the first round. It’s been tough since we won the championship. Last year we were obviously a seventh, eighth seed, and this year we’re still on the outside looking in. So it’s been a tough year back to back. It’s been written a bunch about the business decisions we’ve made, and we’re moving forward. But we know that this is a big summer for us. We don’t thrive on playing for the eighth seed. We thrive higher. Hopefully we can make some stuff happen this summer and be a great team again.