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News  


NBA -- Mark Cuban: "Dirk is the Mavs. The Mavs are Dirk"


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- At 39 years of age and campaigning in his 20th NBA season, the twilight is dawning on Dirk Nowitzki, inarguably the best player to ever put on a Dallas Mavericks jersey.

Whether retirement comes after this season or the next is Dirk's call. Whenever that it is, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told PhilBoxing what the 7-foot- German means to the franchise.

"Dirk is the Mavs. The Mavs are Dirk. He is our culture. Our leader. Our brother. I can't say enough good things about him," Cuban said via email.

In an era where NBA salaries are escalating, Nowitzki, a 13-time All-Star who won an NBA title in 2011, is making just $5 million this season because he took a pay cut gives the Mavericks salary cap flexibility to procure talent around the team.

In a wide-ranging interview, Cuban also said that he thinks a Filipino will eventually make it in the NBA sometime soon. "Absolutely. The Philippines is a basketball hotbed. There will definitely come a time. I think it will be a lot like Canada. Once you get the first NBA player it will inspire the best athletes to play."

Here are other questions Cuban fielded from PhilBoxing:

1) PhilBoxing -- Are you surprised how good rookie Dennis Smith Jr has been so far?

Mark Cuban -- Not at all. He is getting better game after game. The sky is the limit for Dennis.

2) PhilBoxing -- Larry Bird once told me that he thinks Dirk Nowitzki is the best shooter in the NBA. Your thoughts

Mark Cuban -- His shot is a thing of beauty. It's amazing. Even tonight watching him shoot the ball gave me goose bumps.

3) PhilBoxing -- Although you've been fined by the NBA for over $1.8 million dollars since 2000, you have been quiet recently. Has time mellowed you over the years?

Mark Cuban -- No. I cant think the NBA officiating group has changed and adapted. I'd like to think I've helped drive that. Plus, since we have struggled some recently there is no point in complaining. But when we make our run. Stay tuned!

4) PhilBoxing -- The new NBA is built heavily on the 3-point shot. Do you like this better than the old school era of inside-out offense where big men dominated?

Mark Cuban. Yes definitely. More skilled base. I love it.

5) PhilBoxing -- When are you going to visit the Philippines?

Mark Cuban -- That's a good question. I don't know.

6) PhilBoxing -- Is there a chance the Mavericks will play a preseason or regular season game in the Philippines?

Mark Cuban -- That's up to the NBA. I'm wide open to it.

Postscript -- Mark Cuban has always been generous to us with his time. We would like to thank him again for granting us this interview.

The author (L) with Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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