The workplace misconduct scandal surrounding the Mavericks hasn’t changed Dirk Nowitzki‘s plans to play another season, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. As the organization prepares for an independent investigation, Nowitzki said Friday that he still expects to return for a 21st season.
“I signed up last summer for two years,” he told reporters. “I would love to play next year again. But we’ll kind of see how the rest of the season plays out and how I feel in the summer. But as of now, I want to play again next year. I feel OK. I only missed one game. So the body is holding up OK. I only missed one game and that one I could have played, too. Obviously, I didn’t have any major, major issues.”
There’s more new tonight out of Texas:
- Of the possible penalties facing owner Mark Cuban in the wake of the workplace scandal, the NBA isn’t likely to take away the franchise, Sefko adds. That happened to Donald Sterling, who was forced to sell the Clippers in 2014 after several of his racially charged statements became public. Sefko believes it’s more likely Cuban will be suspended or draft picks will be forfeited.
- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich tells Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News that he likes the way veteran point guard Tony Parker has adapted to a reserve role since Dejounte Murray was named the starter last month. Now 35 and in the final year of his contract, Parker has adopted a new routine to keep him ready to come off the bench. “Tony has handled it fantastically well,” Popovich said. “He’s been a really mature, high-character guy. He understands what’s best for a basketball team.”
- Joe Johnson will continue to get playing time in a crowded Rockets rotation, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Johnson logged 22 minutes Friday night in his second game since joining the team and is making a quick impression. “Joe Johnson played really well,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s getting more comfortable, especially in the second half. I’ve known Joe forever and he’s a machine. He just keeps playing, doesn’t get tired, he’s strong, and just really understands his game. If you watch it, he’s really good.” The addition of Johnson may mean a lighter workload for Trevor Ariza, Feigen adds in a separate story. Ariza, who had been averaging 34.8 minutes per night, returned to the lineup Friday after missing nine games with a strained hamstring.