Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

January 13, 2013

Cuban: Struggling Mavs won't trade Nowitzki

DALLAS — Mark Cuban says he plans to keep star Dirk Nowitzki even though the Dallas Mavericks have their worst record since a few months after he bought the team in 2000.

Cuban said before Saturday night's game against Memphis that he wanted to be clear with Nowitzki that he was committed "through thick and thin'' to getting the team back in contention.

Dallas recently fell 10 games under .500 for the first time since Nowitzki's second season in 1999-2000. Since then, the Mavericks have made the playoffs 12 straight years and won the title in 2011.

The Mavericks are playing with a revamped roster for the second straight season after Cuban decided not to bring back several key players from the championship team.

"I told Dirk we're not going to trade him. He was happy. I think,'' Cuban said, laughing. "I wanted to make it clear to him. I said, `We're in this through thick and thin,' and so there's no way I would trade him no matter what.''

Nowitzki, who missed the first 27 games after the first knee surgery of his career, blew off some steam after a recent loss by saying the Mavericks couldn't count on landing a big name in free agency next summer after they missed on Deron Williams last offseason. It was an indirect shot at Cuban's decision to let Tyson Chandler and others go after the franchise's first title.

"When Dirk has something on this mind, he's never shy,'' Cuban said. "If he's going to tell you what he said in the media, you don't think he's going to dump on me? I mean, I've got texts from every single year and emails from every single year. Dirk wants to get it out of his system and then at the end of the email or text it's like, `Don't you worry. I'm a warrior and I'm going to lead these guys and we're going to get it rolling.'''

The Mavericks added guards O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison, center Chris Kaman and forward Elton Brand on short-term deals with the idea that they could pursue big names later, but also with the belief that the team could win now with Nowitzki. When the 7-foot German couldn't make it through training camp without pain in his right knee, Dallas was suddenly figuring out how to survive without him.

The Mavericks actually did OK at 12-15 while Nowitzki was out, but he was sluggish the first few games during a rough part of the schedule. Dallas lost nine of 10 and fell to 13-23 before beating Sacramento on Thursday in a game that also snapped an NBA record-tying 10-game overtime losing streak.

Nowitzki had a hand in a few of the defeats, missing key free throws late in losses to New Orleans and Miami.

"The odds of Dirk missing the free throws ... I would have taken that bet anytime, anywhere,'' Cuban said. "It just takes time. No one hurts more about it than Dirk. And there's nobody who's a bigger warrior and that's why I won't ever trade him.''

That doesn't mean the Mavericks won't be active before the Feb. 21 trading deadline. Cuban said there was a "100 percent chance we're going to try to look to do something.'' He says the Mavericks could benefit from other teams trying to avoid harsher luxury tax rules that kick in next year.



 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0016web.jpg District Champions!

    District champions ... Enough said!
    Claremore freshman forward Olivia Maulsby converted a game-winning header with 1:22 remaining to lead the No. 4-ranked Lady Zebras past No. 5 Skiatook, 2-1 Tuesday night in Metro Lakes Conference play at Lantow Field.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • DSC_0433web.jpg SOCCER: Bulldogs spoil ‘Senior Night’ for Zebras

    Claremore senior goalkeeper Sam Lillie made the most of his first and last varsity start Tuesday night against Skiatook on Senior Night at Lantow Field.
    For 40 minutes, Lillie was flawless in the goal, allowing only one goal and making several tenacious stops against the fiery Bulldogs.
    The second-half, however, told a different story as No. 3 Skiatook scored four goals and enjoyed a 5-0 win over the No. 15 Zebras.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Berryhill’s White strikes out 17, tosses no-hitter over No. 1 Verdigris

    Top-ranked Class 3A Verdigris got White-washed by 4A No.3 Berryhill on Tuesday night.
    In a battle of 2013 state champions, Chiefs’ ace Nick White — a future Oklahoma State pitcher —  fired a no-hitter with 17 strikeouts, igniting a 5-0 victory over the Cardinals.

    April 23, 2014

  • Stilwell’s Lea signs with RSU men's basketball

    Rogers State University men's basketball head coach Justin Barkley announced the addition of standout center Matt Lea for the 2014-15 season.

    April 23, 2014

  • HANSLOVANweb.jpg SOCCER: No. 2 Lady Cards roll past Oologah

    Verdigris senior forward Caitlyn Hanslovan tallied another ‘hat trick’ in her illustrious Lady Cardinals soccer career Tuesday night at Oologah.
    The three goals by Hanslovan soared the second-ranked Lady Cardinals past Oologah, 5-0 in non-conference play at Mustangs Stadium.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • 5 Claremore HS tennis players earn all-conference

    The Claremore High School boys and girls varsity tennis programs had five players receive Metro Lakes all-conference recognition.

    April 23, 2014

  • SEC MEN'S BB: Johnson, Poythress returning to Kentucky

    Kentucky's frontcourt will bring back size and experience next season after freshman center Dakari Johnson and sophomore forward Alex Poythress announced they would return.

    April 23, 2014

  • NBA PLAYOFFS: Grizzlies look to keep home edge against Thunder

    The Grizzlies are happy to be back in Memphis, where they finished the regular season by winning a franchise-record 14 straight games.
    They brought home-court advantage with them.
    To guard Mike Conley, that ratchets up the pressure even more. It's time for the Grizzlies to protect the place they call the Grindhouse.

    April 23, 2014

  • NBA PLAYOFFS: Warriors, Clippers to meet in Oakland for Game 3

    Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson sat on the scorer's table at Oracle Arena on Wednesday morning. He gazed around the building and tried to envision what it will look and sound like when the Warriors host the Los Angeles Clippers for Game 3 of their first-round playoff series Thursday night.

    April 23, 2014

  • Arkansas' Beeks among SEC pitchers having banner season

    Now more than ever, the key to success in the Southeastern Conference is pitching.
    The league has the lowest ERA in the country, and aces abound as postseason play approaches next month.
    LSU's Aaron Nola (7-1, 0.88 ERA), Arkansas' Jalen Beeks (5-3, 1.49) and Mississippi's Chris Ellis (5-0, 1.72) are among those dominating almost every time they take the mound.

    April 23, 2014